Canada's Rich Population Dropped Like It Did In Few Other Countries Last Year

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Last year, rich people in Canada were like ...

And Canadians were like ...

The 2016 World Wealth Report, a study looking at the world's population of rich people and how much money they have, shows that Canada lost as many as 10,000 high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) between 2014 and 2015.

And that helped to put North America behind the Asia Pacific region when it came to wealth growth last year.


The study, by consulting firm Capgemini, arrived at its conclusions by looking at data from 71 countries that account for 99 per cent of global stock market capitalization and 98 per cent of world gross national income.

The data came from sources such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and individual countries.

It defined high net-worth individuals as people who had investable assets worth US$1 million or more, excluding belongings such as a primary residence and collectibles.

Canada ranked eighth in the world last year when it came to the number of HNWIs (321,000) living here. But that was down from 331,000 HNWIs in 2014, for a drop of about three per cent.

hnwi population

The decline didn't translate to a change in its ranking. But it did prove to be a drag on North America's status as the fastest-growing wealth region.

The continent's population of rich people only grew by two per cent, their wealth by 2.3 per cent. That was well below the Asia-Pacific region, whose wealthy population grew by 9.4 per cent, their wealth by 9.9 per cent.

Capgemini's report said that while North America's real estate market and economy performed solidly, equity markets in both countries "finished 2015 in negative territory," limiting their wealth growth.

But Canada found itself among only five countries whose wealthy population declined between 2014 and 2015.

Those countries included Brazil, whose wealthy population fell by eight per cent; Singapore, where it fell three per cent; and Russia and Mexico, where the number of rich people each dropped by two per cent.

toronto financial district
Toronto's financial district. (Photo: Alan Copson/Getty Images)

Canada's negative results came as its stock markets continued to slacken.

Earlier this year, Macleans reported that the S&P/TSX Composite had fallen to 2006 levels, leading to what it called a "lost decade for owners of Canadian stocks."

Reporter Chris Sorensen noted that "now more than ever, [Canadian stocks] rise and fall on the whims of the boom-and-bust world market for oil and various metals and minerals."

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