The wealthiest of the world grew their riches by 8 percent in 2021 and added 7.8 percent more members to their cohort, as bullish stock markets generated healthy returns, according to a Capgemini’s World Wealth Report (WWR) released on Tuesday.

North America continued along its growth trajectory, boasting the highest increase in high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) population and wealth, at 13.2 percent and 13.8 percent respectively, the report said.

In the Middle East region, the number of wealthy grew by 5.5 percent while their wealth grew by 6.3 percent. The growth, led primarily by the UAE and Israel, was due to increased tech industry focus and recovering oil prices.

The Asia-Pacific region, which had dominated the HNWI growth over the past decade, fell back into the third place as the ranks of the wealthy increased by only 4.2 percent, trailing Europe.

In 2021, the top four positions in HNWI population by market were retained by the US, Japan, Germany, and China respectively, comprising 63.6 percent of the global HNWI population, an increase of 0.7 percent from 2020.

In the UK, HNWI population grew by 6.3 percent and wealth by 7.4 percent last year compared with -3 percent and -1.1 percent in the year earlier.

In India, HNWI population grew by 10.5 percent and wealth by 11.6 percent, as wealth expanded on the back of the central bank's liquidity support schemes, domestic policies and vaccination drives.  

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)