Zurich - The number of millionaires in the world dropped last year by nearly 15 per cent in the wake of the global economic meltdown, according to the World Wealth Report published Wednesday.
There are now around 8.6 million millionaires, the survey, now its 13th year, found.
While the United States remained the world leader with the largest number of millionaires, China was moving up the ranks and placed fourth, behind Japan and Germany, out-seating Britain for the first time.
The total worth of the millionaires also fell, to 32.8 trillion dollars.
The number of people with more than 30 million dollars, not including their homes, cars and illiquid assets, fell by 24.6 per cent to 78,000.
In 2008, as the financial crisis took hold, the wealthy reduced their exposure to equities and increased the proportion of their assets in safer and simpler investments including cash, the study showed.
The study was carried out by Merrill Lynch & Co and Capgemini SA.(dpa)
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