Over 90% Indians have personal wealth of less than $10,000: Credit Suisse report

The average personal wealth per adult in India has risen by nearly 300 per cent since 2000, but as much as 91 per cent continue to languish at the bottom of the pyramid with personal wealth of less than $10,000, according to the latest Credit Suisse report on global wealth.

The benefits of India’s economic prosperity has gone to just 0.6 per cent of the population, who enjoy a net worth of $1,00,000, according to Credit Suisse’s latest global report on wealth inequality.
Amidst the increasing inequality, the country added a whopping 7,300 millionaires during the 12 months to mid-2018, taking the total number of dollar-millionaires to 3.43 lakh, with a collective net worth of around $6 trillion, says the report.
According to Credit Suisse, the country is home to one of the highest proportions of female billionaires at 18.6 per cent during the period, among the major countries.
"By mid-2018, there were an estimated 3,43,000 millionaires in India, a rise of 7,300," Credit Suisse's 2018 global wealth report said, adding of these, 3,400 have wealth over $50 million, while 1,500 of them have wealth over $100 million each.
By mid-2018, in dollar terms wealth in the country grew by a modest 2.6 per cent to around $6 trillion and wealth per adult stayed flat at $7,020 mainly due to the rupee plunge against the dollar, it said. And the number of the rich as well the inequality is set to widen by over 53 per cent by 2023 when their number is set to cross an estimated 5,26,000 millionaires worth around $8.8 trillion.
The average wealth of Indians grew 8 per cent annually between 2000 and 2007, before falling 26 per cent in 2008, due mainly to a temporary blip caused by the global financial meltdown.
However, since 2009 it has bounced back and has grown at an average rate of 7 per cent since then. The average wealth of Indians at the middle of this year is estimated at $7,020.
On the other hand, personal debts are estimated at $840, or just gross assets.
On an average, property and other real estate assets account for 91 per cent of Indians’ personal wealth.
While indebtedness remains a severe problem for many poor households, the overall household debt as a proportion of gross assets in India is lower than in most of the developed countries, said the document titled “Global Wealth Report 2018”.
According to Credit Suisse, the country is home to one of the highest proportions of female billionaires at 18.6 per cent during the period, among the major countries.
“By mid-2018, there were an estimated 3,43,000 millionaires in India, a rise of 7,300,” the report said, adding of these, 3,400 have wealth over $50 million, while 1,500 of them have wealth over $100 million each.
As many as 404,000 adults are in the top 1% of global wealth holders. Together, they account for 0.8 per cent of global wealth.
Other global research reports have also flagged concern over India’s growing income inequality.
A new report released by the World Inequality Lab last December had underlined that income inequality in India had reached historically high levels in India since the 1980s when economic and trade liberalisation began in the country.
According to the report, the top 10 per cent of the India population had 56 per cent share in the national income in 2014.
As per the Credit Suisse report, global wealth increased by 4.6 per cent in 12 months to June this year, compared to the preceding one year. North America reported the highest growth of 6.5 per cent in personal wealth, followed by Europe 5.5 per cent, Africa 4.4 per cent and Asia Pacific 1.7 per cent.
Latin America was the only region where personal wealth contracted by 4.9 per cent. Country wise, China and India witnessed 4.6 per cent and 2.6 per cent growth, respectively, in wealth.