Russian Wealth Rose as U.S. Wealth Decreased

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St. Basil's Cathedral | Image by Baturina Yuliya/Shutterstock

Russia became wealthier in 2022, while during the same period, the U.S. and Europe lost trillions of dollars of wealth, according to an annual report by megabank UBS.

The Global Wealth Report is a joint effort of UBS and its recent acquisition Credit Suisse, which has tracked global wealth trends by nation and region since the 2008 financial crisis.

According to its calculations of global wealth levels for 2022, the U.S. suffered the largest loss of wealth by shedding $5.9 trillion. In comparison, the U.S. economy had gained $19.5 trillion in 2021, part of an upward trend starting back in the 2008 global financial crisis that was unbroken until now, per the report.

Europe as a region did not fare much better, dropping over $3.7 trillion from its 2021 levels, per the report.

“The loss of global wealth was heavily concentrated in North America and Europe, which together shed USD 10.9 trillion,” the report said.

The report noted that more countries saw wealth increases than losses, but the increases were incremental except for a handful of exceptions. One of those was Russia, which saw its wealth increase by $600 billion even while, for most of the year, the country was engaged in a grueling war in Ukraine.

The United States is still one of the wealthiest countries by far when it comes to average wealth per adult, which at $551,350 is second only to Switzerland’s $685,230. However, when median wealth is examined, the U.S. falls to 13th place with $107,740 per adult. The report did not provide the same mean and median data for Russia.

However, the report did find that the number of millionaires in Russia rose by 56,000 to 408,000 for the year. In contrast, the United States lost almost 1.8 million millionaires since 2021, the largest reduction of any country. The U.S. still has the most millionaires of any country by far, numbering about 22.7 million. Japan is in second place with about 2.75 million.

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