Good news: Global wealth rose by 6.4% in 2017 in the fastest yearly increase since 2012, the Financial Times reports. Bad news: The distribution of that new wealth was as uneven as ever. According to Credit Suisse's 2017 Global Wealth Report, the richest 1% now account for a record 50.1% of all global wealth, approximately $140 trillion, up from 42.5% in 2008. Meanwhile the poorest 70% of adults have just 2.7% of global wealth—that's about 3.5 billion adults with less than $10,000 in assets each, the Guardian reports. “The outlook for the millionaire segment is more optimistic than for the bottom of the wealth pyramid,” Fortune quotes the report as stating. There were 2.3 million new millionaires created in 2017, bringing the total to 36 million millionaires worldwide. That's nearly triple how many there were in 2000.
But the divide isn't just between the haves and have-nots; it's also geographical and age-related. Wealth in Africa actually fell by 1.9% per adult this year. In North America, it grew by 8.8% per adult. And more than 40% of the world's millionaires live in the US. Meanwhile Credit Suisse chairman Urs Rohner warns of the "millennial disadvantage." He says "millennials face particularly challenging circumstances," with baby boomers hogging housing and top jobs, and have had little chance to accumulate wealth. The younger generation, stuck with students debt and paying for the pensions of baby boomers, are expected to do less well financially than their parents. (Read more wealth stories.)