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Published: Mar 07, 2024 4 min read
Photo-illustration of currency-shaped hot air balloons with a sunset in the background.
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The ultra-rich are getting richer — and their global population is growing. After a year that saw strong growth in the stock market, real estate and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, the number of ultra-wealthy individuals around the world is up by over 4%, according to a new report.

But being counted among the highest net worth individuals can be much "easier" in some countries than it is in others. To belong to the 1% in America, your net worth would have to be about $5.8 million or higher, according to the new Wealth Report from real estate company Knight Frank. In some countries, though, you only need to be worth a fraction of that to be a part of the 1%; in others, you need to have far greater wealth to be part of this elite group.

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Top 1% net worth around the world

The Knight Frank Wealth Report shows what it takes to become a member of the top 1% around the world. The 1% refers to the top 1% of individuals in a given country based on net worth — or the value of all of the assets one owns, minus debt and other liabilities.

Here is the minimum net worth you must have as an individual to belong to the top 1% in select countries around the world, as of the fourth quarter of 2023:

  1. Monaco: $12.88 million
  2. Luxembourg: $10.83 million
  3. Switzerland: $8.51 million
  4. U.S.: $5.81 million
  5. Singapore: $5.23 million
  6. Sweden: $4.76 million
  7. Australia: $4.67 million
  8. New Zealand: $4.57 million
  9. Ireland: $4.32 million
  10. Germany: $3.43 million
  11. France: $3.27 million
  12. Hong Kong: $3.09 million
  13. UK: $3.07 million
  14. Italy: $2.55 million
  15. Spain: $2.47 million
  16. Japan: $1.97 million
  17. China: $1.07 million

As you might imagine, the report shows that it takes a higher net worth to be part of the 1% in well-off countries that have small populations. The two countries that top the list, Monaco and Luxembourg, have populations totaling just 37,000 and 640,000, respectively. Even Switzerland and Singapore, which round out the top 5 alongside the U.S., both count populations of less than 10 million people.

The U.S., which has a population of around 335 million, is a major outlier to this trend. China and Japan, which also have large populations, have the lowest minimum wealth thresholds on the list, both at less than $2 million.

Another thing noted by Knight Frank is that these figures are just the minimum necessary to be in the top 1%; the variation between members of the same elite wealth percentile are still quite broad. There is another level of financial elite within the 1% called ultra-high net work individuals, or UHNWI. In the U.S., it may take you $5.81 million to be in the top 1%, but it takes a minimum net worth of $30 million to be considered among the ultra-high net worth crowd.

As of the end of 2023, this ultra-high net worth population is on the rise, reaching 626,000 globally, up from just over 600,000 a year earlier. The global population of this ultra-rich group declined in 2022, which was a down year for most markets.

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