Aussie middle class gets richer

SCOTT PARKER AND YOLANDA REDRUP
Last updated 15:27 12/06/2014

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Surging equity markets created 43,000 new millionaire households in Australia, increasing wealth at the rate of more than A$1 billion ($1.1 billion) a day during 2013.

A Boston Consulting Group report released on Wednesday finds that one in 50 households in Australia has more than A$1 million in liquid wealth.

"Equity markets generally made strong gains, so populations with high exposure to shares such as Australia, the US and Canada enjoyed high growth in wealth," said BCG executive Andrew Dyer.

Australia maintained 14th position on the list, which is led by the United States, where one in 18 households, or 7.1 million, are millionaires.

The report defines wealth as total assets including cash, funds and listed securities, but excludes businesses, residences and luxury goods.

Dyer said a structural shift in wealth in Australia was being led by the middle class, many of whom would not regard themselves as wealthy.

Since 2008, Australia's richest 1 per cent of households have seen their percentage of total wealth decline from 17.5 per cent to 13.8 per cent.

Conversely, households in the A$1m to A$5m range have increased their share from 8.1 per cent to 10.1 per cent, Dyer said.

The report says total global wealth grew 14.6 per cent to US$152 trillion, almost double the percentage rise in 2012.

Regional wealth growth was led by the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, with 30.5 per cent, followed by Eastern Europe and North America, with 17.2 per cent and 15.6 per cent respectively.

While China had the largest increase in millionaire households, the highest density was found in Qatar, where there are 175 millionaires for every 1000 households.

Switzerland placed second on this list, followed by Singapore in third place and Hong Kong in fourth.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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