Rich people like to think that they are not only rich but among THE richest. Just think back to when Donald Trump bragged throughout his presidential campaign and tenure as U.S. president, “I’m really rich”. Trump was obsessed, and routinely claimed to be worth $9 billion when Forbes estimated his wealth at half of that: $4.1 billion. That’s not peanuts, but it is quite a difference. In 2021 he was only worth an estimated $2.5 billion, leaving him $400 million short of the cutoff to make that year’s Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people. He was furious and as ever, ascribed malignant motives to Forbes for having dropped him out of the top 400.
For other billionaires as well, that number is more than just a financial disclosure, it’s a definition of self-worth and it confers power and influence. They’ll fight tooth and nail to be listed among the top 1%.
But you don’t need billions to be in the top 1%, mere millions will do, and in a couple of cases, not even that much.
So, what does it take today to land in that exclusive clique?
That depends on what location you have in mind.
In Monaco, one of the playgrounds of the rich and influential, you need to have a net worth of $12.4 million, according to a new study.
Data from real-estate consultancy Knight Frank’s Wealth Sizing Model shows how much net wealth you need to be ranked as part of the so-called “1%” in 25 countries. Monaco, which Knight Frank says has the world’s densest population of super-rich individuals, tops the list.
Monaco is smaller than Central Park – but it’s packed with millionaires. The tiny principality is only 0.78 square miles in area, making it the world’s second-smallest independent state and even smaller than New York’s Central Park. The European country is bordered only by France and the Mediterranean Sea. But despite its tiny size, it is densely populated – Monaco had a population of around 39,000 as of December.
Its Mediterranean climate, showcase of glamorous events, and low taxes — including a lack of income tax — have helped the country become an enclave for some of the world’s richest people.
Knight Frank previously estimated that by 2026, there would be 255 people living in Monaco worth more than $30 million and close to 40,000 worth more than $1 million.
In second place is Switzerland, but it’s a big drop from Monaco. You only need $6.6 million needed to make the top 1% in the Alpine country.
Australia comes in third, at $5.5 million, followed by New Zealand at $5.2 million and the US at $5.1 million. In the UK it’s $3.3 million.
The highest-ranking Asian country is Singapore, where you need $3.5 million to be in the wealthiest 1%, just ahead of Hong Kong at $3.4 million.
In Japan you need $1.7 million to make the cut, whereas in mainland China it’s $960,000.
In the Middle East, the UAE tops the list. You need $1.6 million to be in the country’s richest 1%.
If you want to land in that prized group on the cheap, head for Brazil, which tops the list for Latin America, where citizens need a relatively low $430,000 to be among its top 1%.
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