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2023 saw 70 new UHNWIs created daily, says Knight Frank Wealth Report

The global Ultra-High-Net-Worth population is growing, according to the 2024 Knight Frank Wealth Report, released earlier this month.

According to the UHNW report, published annually by international real estate agency Knight Frank, at the end of 2023, the global UHNW population had risen by 4.2% compared to a year earlier.

The authoritative report, now in its 18th year, paints a positive picture of global wealth accumulation, pointing to a 28.1% increase in UHNWIs globally in the next five years.

The growing number of UHWNIs is good news for luxury brands seeking to attract the world’s wealthiest individuals. Here, we look at some of the key findings of the 2024 Knight Frank Wealth Report.

How many UHNWIs are there in the world? 

According to the report, the total number of UHNWIs (individuals with a net worth of US$30 million or more) is now 626,619, up from 601,300 in 2022.  

While the number of UHNWIs has grown, this elite cohort represents a tiny fraction of the global population, approximately 0.00793%; far more exclusive than the top 1%.

How many UHNWIs were created daily in 2023? 

While 2023 saw a sluggish global economic performance, more than 70 UHNWIs were created daily. In 2023, UHNWIs benefitted from key asset rises; gold gained 15%, bitcoin rose by 155%, and super-prime real estate in the world’s top markets saw gains of 3.1%.

“The improving interest rate outlook, the robust performance of the US economy, and a sharp uptick in equity markets helped wealth creation globally,” Liam Bailey, the global head of research at Knight Frank, said.

The 2024 UHNW report’s buoyant figures are in stark contrast to the 2023 report, which highlighted the impact of rising rates on wealth portfolios and geopolitical shocks, with the total wealth held by UHNWIs falling by 10%.  

Are UHNWIs positive about their wealth portfolios? 

UHNWIs remain positive about their wealth portfolios, with Knight Frank’s Attitudes Survey pointing to the fact that 71% of UHNWIs globally predict an increase in their wealth in 2024, with younger affluent cohorts exhibiting the greatest confidence.

Which countries saw the biggest UHNW population growth in 2023? 

In 2023, growth was led by North America (up 7.2%), thanks in part to a buoyant US economy as inflation cooled, and the Middle East (up 6.2%). Latin America was the only region in 2023 to see its UHNW population decline. Europe also lagged behind in terms of new wealth generation, up just 1.8%, yet it still remains a key market for UHNWIs.

According to the Knight Frank Wealth Report, UHNWIs are better connected and more willing to move than ever before. As such, the traditional UHNWI wealth hubs are changing as new and emerging destinations are challenging established global gateways as they attempt to lure the world’s richest individuals, either through tax incentives, safety, a luxury lifestyle, or a combination of all.

Which countries will experience the most UHNW growth in the next five years?

The report notes that strong UHNW population growth over the next five years will be seen in India (50%), mainland China (47%), Malaysia (35%), and Indonesia (34%). 

Over the next five years to 2028, Asia’s wealth population is set to grow faster than any other region in the world and is predicted to overtake the US as the world’s leading ultra-wealthy hub.

What is the predicted growth in UHNW women? 

The number of UHNW women also continues to grow, with the Wealth Report suggesting that the 38% rise in female UHNWIs over the past decade is set to continue.

Indeed, survey findings from Altrata – which publishes the annual World Ultra Wealth Report – suggest that women now make up around 11% of global UHNWIs, up from 8% less than a decade ago. As wealth becomes more diverse, luxury brands must adapt their UHNW marketing strategies to appeal to this growing market.

How much wealth will be transferred to UHNW millennials?  

Knight Frank predicts that some $90 trillion in wealth and assets will be passed on from baby boomers to millennials in the next two decades, creating the world’s richest generation in history.  

“The difference in outlook between younger and older generations will result in a substantial reappraisal of marketing strategies for anyone wanting to sell products or services to this newly wealthy group,” the report states.

What are UHNWIs investing in? 

Prime real estate continues to be a key investment for UHNWIs, with the 2024 Knight Frank Wealth Report pointing to the fact that 22% of UHNWIs are planning a real estate investment in 2024. Overall, luxury real estate prices climbed 3.1% on average. 

Manila (26.3%) and Dubai (15.9%) were the highest-performing real estate markets, according to the Prime International Residential Index, followed by The Bahamas (up 15%) and the Algarve, Portugal (up 12.3%). 

Asia-Pacific was the strongest-performing world region (up 3.8%), followed by the Americas (up 3.6%), and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (up 2.6%).

Are UHNWIs concerned about the environment? 

UHNWIs are increasingly concerned about the environment, with the Knight Frank Wealth Report stating that 65% of UHNWIs are actively trying to reduce their personal carbon footprint, and one in five UHNWIs are attempting to measure their carbon emissions. 

Some 40% of UHNWIs are switching to electric vehicles, 34% are improving the energy efficiency of their investment properties,  30% are reducing the carbon footprints of their business operations, 21% are investing in nature-based solutions, while 14% intend to cut down their use of private jets. Furthermore, a quarter of UHNWIs screen potential investments against ESG criteria. The younger generation of UHNWIs is driving these sustainability solutions.

According to Knight Frank’s Attitudes Survey, Europen UHNWIs are the most concerned about their environmental footprint, while those in the Middle East are least engaged.

How can Relevance help with UHNW marketing?

Relevance is a luxury marketing agency with more than a decade of expertise in working with ultra-luxury brands specifically wishing to reach UHNWIs, including some of the world’s leading real estate agencies.

Our luxury marketing services cover audience profiling, branding, website design and development, SEO, paid advertising, social media, influencer marketing, PR, content marketing, and CRM. Contact us to learn more about our UHNW marketing services.

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