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Rich get richer – Markets, economies drive growth

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The ranks and assets of the super-wealthy are surging.

Fueled by strong global stock markets and economies, the number of the world’s millionaires grew by 18 percent last year, a new survey says.

The 2000 World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch and Gemini Consulting found total wealth held by millionaires also grew 18 percent to $25 trillion, Reuters reports.

The study estimates the world’s millionaires’ wealth would climb 12 percent a year to $44.98 trillion by 2004.

Roughly 30 percent of the millionaires live in North America, says the  study, as do more than half of the world’s 514 billionaires.

It also finds that individuals with personal financial assets of more than $30 million grew by 18 percent to 55,000.

Another study, by the Internal Revenue Service, says about 40,000 Americans had $10 million or more in 1995, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The study estimates that 27,000 members of that group had a net worth of $10 million to $20 million, and the other 13,000 had a net worth of $20 million or more.

More men than women are among the superrich, the Journal says.

For example, 19,000 of those with $10 million to $20 million are men, as are 9,000 of those with $20 million or more. 

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