Some 6,600 millionaires resided in Israel during 2004, marking a 10 percent rise from 2003, according to the 2004 World Wealth Report compiled by brokerage firm Merrill Lynch & Co. and consultancy firm Cap Gemini Group.
The report defined millionaires as "high-net-worth individuals" or those with at least USD 1 million in financial or liquid assets.
Some 70 multimillionaires, or people with at least USD 30 million in financial or liquid assets, currently reside in Israel, up 15 percent from 2003, the report said.
Six Israelis made to the list of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
The liquid assets of Israel’s richest totaled USD 24 billion, compared with USD 20 billion in 2003.
Worldwide, there are 8.3 million “high net worth individuals,” or 7.3 percent more than in 2003. Their wealth totaled USD 30.8 trillion, according to the report.
Merrill Lynch Executive Vice President James P. Gorman said the two main drivers of personal wealth creation – economic growth and market capitalization – worked together to generate the strongest growth in high net worth wealth in more than three years.
The total number of U.S. millionaires came to nearly 2.5 million, thanks to strong economic growth, low interest rates, tax relief and solid performances by small- and mid-cap stocks, the report said.