The Swiss firm released its 2015 Global Wealth Report today, which revealed that China has beaten North America to the middle-class post by a wide margin, with 109 million Chinese citizens fitting into this wealth bracket, compared to 92 million in the US.
It defines middle class as someone with wealth, and not income, between $50,000 (£32,400, €43,700) and $500,000.
China has experienced a six-fold increase in the number of middle class individuals in the past 15 years, with an extra 43 million people gaining middle class status.
The report also revealed that five million of those progressed to a higher wealth bracket.
“They tend to share more similar lifestyles and participate in the same global markets for luxury goods, even when they reside in different continents”
In comparison, India only added less than seven million individuals to the middle class bracket over the same period.
“This divergence in experiences is partly due to faster overall wealth growth in China, and partly because the populous mid-portion of the Chinese wealth distribution is moving into the global middle class, whereas it is still far from doing so in India,” the report reads.
Credit Suisse said high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth individuals are heavily concentrated in particular regions and countries.
“They tend to share more similar lifestyles and participate in the same global markets for luxury goods, even when they reside in different continents,” the report reads.
HNW individuals are classed as having assets between $1m and $50m, of which North America accounts for the highest number in the world.
By contrast, China, Latin America, India and Africa together account for less than 7% of all HNW individuals.
UHNW individuals with net assets above $50m now make up around 123,800 worldwide, with the US leading with 48% of all UHNW adults.
China has recently moved into second place, but as it only has 8% of the total UHNWs, it sits at “a distant second”.