- Despite the pandemic, the world gained 5,632,000 millionaires in a single year
- The U.S. still has the highest concentration of millionaires in the world. From 2019 to 2020, almost 2.3 million Americans achieved millionaire status
- Other countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, lost a significant number of millionaires, likely because of currency devaluation
Which Countries Gained and Lost the Most Millionaires in 2020?
2020 was an unusual year for everyone, and even some of the world’s millionaires had a rough go. But just how much did COVID-19 impact the ultra-wealthy, and how many actually lost their millionaire status in 2020?
The answer to that varies, depending on the region. Here’s a look at which countries gained—and lost—the most millionaires last year.
The World’s Millionaires: Top Gainers and Losers
There was an unusual amount of movement both in and out of the millionaires club in 2020. For instance, the U.S. gained almost 2.3 million new millionaires, while Brazil’s millionaires club lost around 81,000 members compared to its 2019 numbers:
|Country||Net Change, 2019-2020||% Change, 2019-2020|
What are some possible reasons for this discrepancy?
One potential factor is the stock market falls that were triggered by COVID-19. But another likely reason is currency devaluation, which could have happened regardless—during the first half of 2020, Mexico’s currency depreciated by 18%, while Brazil’s dropped by 27%.
Big Loss for Some, Huge Gain for Others
Clearly, the COVID-19 impact has differed greatly across regions.
But geography isn’t the only factor at play—while certain sectors have proven to be pandemic proof, other industries have suffered greatly because of the virus.
For instance, the tech sector thrived last year, and a few key tech billionaires grew their net worth significantly in 2020 as a result. On the flipside, hospitality took a beating, with many restaurants facing permanent closures.