2020 was the year of covid-19 which reaped misery on the world.
In terms of priorities, wealth comes a distant third behind health and employment. But it did suffer last year, as the Credit Suisse Global Wealth report shows.
Looking specifically at India, total wealth dropped $594bn (£427bn, €499) compared with 2019, hitting $12.8trn – a fall of 4.4%.
To put this in context, only one other country recorded a decrease in total wealth in excess of $500bn – and that was Brazil – and by a considerable margin of $839bn.
Admittedly, exchange rate depreciation of the Indian rupee exacerbated the problem.
Had the comparison been on a like-for-like basis – total wealth would have decreased by 2.1% instead of 4.4%.
Break it down
Unemployment was a concern worldwide, but it peaked in April 2020 with the Indian rate tripling to 24%.
As a result, wealth per adult dropped 6.1% to $14,252.
In 2020, there were 764,000 Indian adults with personal wealth of more than $1m – a drop of 66,000 compared with 2019.
On a global scale, there are nearly 50.9 million millionaires.
As a percentage of the domestic population, Indian millionaires (in US dollar terms) represent 0.1%.
Rapid ascent on the cards
But Credit Suisse described India’s progress as noteworthy.
Total wealth in the country increased eight-fold between 2000 and 2020. Despite this remarkable rise, and despite having four times the population of the US total wealth in India is comparable to the US 70 years ago, the Swiss bank concluded.
However, total household wealth is expected to overtake the UK by 2025.
Credit Suisse expects that Indian millionaires will number 1.3 million in 2025 – an increase of 82% over the next five years.