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Here's how much money you need to be a part of the 1%

You need more money than ever to enter the ranks of the top 1% of the richest Americans.

To join the club of the wealthiest citizens in the U.S., you'll need at least $5.8 million, up about 15% up from $5.1 million one year ago, according to global real estate company Knight Frank's 2024 Wealth Report

Robust wealth creation, driven in part by a strong U.S. economy, helped bump the threshold higher, the report said. Over 4% more ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI), worth at least $30 million, were minted in 2023, bringing the global total to nearly 627,000.

And the U.S. only ranks fourth globally in terms of how much wealth one needs to join the 1%. At the top of the list is Monaco, where the threshold to enter the 1% is $12.9 million. A person's wealth includes investments, cash and other assets including their primary and secondary residences, according to Knight Frank's wealth measurement model. 

The new figures highlight the growing divide between the rich and poor both globally and domestically. Since 2020, five billion people have become poorer, while the five richest men in the world have more than doubled their fortunes, according to Oxfam America's report Inequality Inc. 

Big corporations are partially to blame for rising inequality, by fighting minimum wage increases and opposing unionization efforts, according to Oxfam's research.

Additionally, a massive generational shift in wealth holders is occurring.

Over the next two decades in the U.S., $90 trillion worth of assets will be transferred from the silent generation and baby boomers to younger generations including Gen X, millennials and Gen Z. Millennials are expected to become the richest generation in history. Baby boomers currently hold 50% of all wealth in the United States spread across various asset classes, according to Fed data.

"The next generation is poised to inherit huge sums, and all the research we have commissioned confirms that they value societal and environmental wellbeing alongside economic gain and are unlikely to continue the relentless pursuit of growth at all costs," Ben Whattam, co-founder of Modern Affluence Exchange, wrote in the report. 

The report also draws attention to the widening divide between rich and poor countries. 

"Our findings confirm the substantial differences in wealth distribution between countries, with smaller hubs  demonstrating a bias towards higher thresholds," Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank said in the report, referring to smaller countries. 

That's in part because there's a higher concentration of extremely wealthy individuals in countries like Monaco, for example, which attracts UHNWIs because of its favorable tax laws.

"As Western countries in particular grapple with government deficits and the need to raise tax revenue, expect greater policy focus on where wealth is located, how it is distributed across economies and how governments can both tax it and encourage its growth," Bailey said.

For example, a number of U.S. states have proposed wealth taxes to raise billions from the wealthiest Americans. They include, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York and Washington. 

Here's how much wealth you need to be a part of the 1% across the globe:

  1. Monaco - $12.9 million
  2. Luxembourg - $10.8 million
  3. Switzerland - $8.5 million
  4. United States — $5.8 million
  5. Singapore – $5.2 million
  6. Sweden — $4.8 million
  7. Australia — $4.7 million
  8. New Zealand — $4.6 million
  9. Ireland — $4.3 million
  10. Germany — $3.4 million
  11. France — $3.3 million
  12. Hong Kong — $3.1 million
  13. UK — $3.1 million
  14. Italy — $2.5 million
  15. Spain — $2.5 million
  16. Japan — $2 milllion 
  17. Mainland China — $1.1 million
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