The number of millionaires in Israel increased last year by 42.7%, from 5,900 in 2008 to 8,419 in 2009, according to the 14th Merrill Lynch Capgemini World Wealth Report released Tuesday.
According to the report, the number of millionaires in the world rose in 2009 by 17.1%, to some 10 million, despite the economic downturn. Israel takes third place in the increase of millionaires after Hong Kong and India, where the number of millionaires grew by 104% and 50.9% respectively.
The report defines a millionaire as anyone with at least $1 million in liquid funds, not including invested capital, and after all debts are deducted. In 2009, the world's millionaires held a total of $39 trillion – an increase of 18.9% compared to the previous year.
The number of multimillionaires (who have at least $30 million) grew by 15.4%, to some 90,000. The total wealth held by these multimillionaires grew last year by 21.5%.