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How Much Money Do You Need To Join The Top 1 Percent?


This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz


A recent report by real estate consultancy Knight Frank details how much money a person needs to possess to be considered part of the 1 percent of the richest people in their respective country - and the results differ significantly.


Despite China making big steps towards leadership in several business sectors and transforming its economy toward higher value-creating industries, being a millionaire was pretty much enough to place a person in the upper 1 percent of China's richest. Chinese resident with assets of just under $1.1 million were considered part of the 1 percent in 2023, according to the report. As recent as 2020, even $850,000 would have been considered enough to be part of the 1 percent in China.


This is far from the case in other economies, for example notoriously wealthy Switzerland, where only those with a wealth of $8.5 million or more would be considered part of the 1 percent. In tiny and exclusive Monaco, one's net worth would have to have eight digits, as only $12.9 million is enough to join the 1-percent club in the European micronation. In the United States, this number stood at $5.8 million last year.


While Knight Frank did not publish this numbers again for 2023, India in 2020 counted everyone who possessed the equivalent of $60,000 or more in the top 1 percent of the wealthiest residents. But this does not necessarily mean that India is more egalitarian when it comes to wealth distribution. With a population of around 1.4 billion people, India's 1 percent is still 14 million people strong. This means extreme wealth concentrates in the wealthiest 0.1 percent rather than the richest 1 percent, making the division of wealth even starker. A recent report on the country details that on a per-adult, pre-tax basis, India's top 1 percent earned around 40 percent of the nation's income while almost 30 percent of that was attributable to just the 0.1 percent.


Despite the lower profile of India's 1 percent internationally, the group is still wealthier than its counterparts in the United States or European countries when comparing to the wealth of the rest of the nation. Credit Suisse found that in 2022, India's 1 percent held around 40 percent of the country's wealth, compared to 34 percent in the United States and 36 percent in Sweden, for example. In China, the number stood at 31 percent.


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