Millionaire by Country

What does it take to become a millionaire?

Hard work, talent, good luck, access to capital and ideas are all part of the equation.  But another factor is the country in which you’re born.  How does your country embrace those factors?  The chart below is revealing.

Millionaire graph

This chart shows the number of dollar millionaires as a percentage of world’s total by their country. Data is from Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2015.

Why would it matter into which country you were born?  Aren’t all countries equal?  Along with the other factors already mentioned, quality of opportunity, equality under the rule of law, and equality of the legal system all play a part.

As well, there is a sense of expansive natural resources, but resources that are not controlled by a few elite hands holding a monopoly thereof.

Without going beyond the obvious, another factor that may play a role in developing millionaires is the country’s religion or more accurately the willingness to embrace differences; tolerance born out from that rule of law.

Along with opportunity comes the ability to fail, but the payoffs may be greater.  Access to capital markets, to debt, and to equity also plays a part in answering the question.  Tax rates also play a part at not only the personal level, but also the corporate level.

It is one thing to have a country full of resources, including people and capital, but if it is restricted, if there is no upward mobility emphasis, if there is no equality in the eyes of the law, the country as a whole might suffer.

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