Number Of Rich Indians Increase, As Does The Disparity

India has the highest number of billionaires after China amongst the BRICS nations.      

3 min read
Number Of Rich Indians Increase, As Does The Disparity

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The list of Indian billionaires got longer in 2016, with 2,48,000 adults making it to the top one percent of global wealth holders, according to the latest data on global wealth from the Credit Suisse Group. Amongst the BRICS nations, only China had more billionaires than India.

The richest 1 percent of Indians now own 58.4 percent of the country’s wealth, according to the report. Their share is up from 53 percent last year. In the last two years, the share of the top 1 percent has increased rapidly, from 49 percent in 2014 to 58.4 percent in 2016.

(Photo: BloombergQuint)

Not So Wealthy in Dollar Terms

The total wealth in the country also increased, rising by 5.1 percent in rupee terms on a year-on-year basis. In dollar terms, due to adverse currency movements, India’s household wealth fell by 0.8 percent over the last year. India’s total wealth stood at $3,099 billion, which is a decline of $26 billion from the 2015 figure.

(Photo: BloombergQuint)

Similarly, the wealth per adult in India stood at $3,840, a far cry from $5,100 in 2010. Annual wealth growth in India averaged at 6 percent for the 2000-2016 period.

(Photo: BloombergQuint)

Personal wealth in India has largely been held in property and real assets, constituting 86 percent of the estimated household assets – a phenomenon typically observed in developing countries, the report said.

Personal debt was estimated at $376 per adult – just 9 percent of India’s gross assets. Indebtedness was a big problem for rural India.

However, on an overall basis, household debt as a proportion of assets in India was found to be lower than most developed countries. To put that into perspective, debt to gross asset ratio in the US was 22 percent.


Disparity Also Grows

The rich in India are getting richer, which in turn has led to a growing economic divide. Ninety-six percent of the adult population earned below $10,000 per adult, the report noted.

(Photo: BloombergQuint)

Just 0.3 percent, or around 2.4 million adults in India had a net worth of over $100,000.

By our estimates, 2,260 adults have wealth over $50 million, and 1,040 have more than $100 million.  
Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 

This article was originally published in BloombergQuint

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Topics:  china   India   BRICS 

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