AI stock frenzy helps mint 600,000 millionaires in the U.S., trouncing the rest of the world

Artificial intelligence’s boost to financial markets helped the U.S. trounce the world in millionaire growth last year, when their ranks swelled by 600,000.

That’s more than the population of Baltimore, bringing the total number of Americans who have at least $1 million in investable assets, not including their primary residence, to 7.5 million, CNBC reported citing data from Paris-based consulting company Capgemini.

Last year’s 7.3% jump in U.S. millionaires helped North America reclaim the highest growth rate for millionaires in the world from the Asia-Pacific region.

Asia saw millionaire growth of 4.8%, while Europe’s number of millionaires rose by 4%. The number of millionaires in Latin America increased by 2.7% last year and 2.1% in the Middle East. Africa saw a 0.1% decline, according to Capgemini.

The wealth of all the millionaires in the U.S. combined was about $26 trillion. The number of people with a net worth of $30 million or more reached about 100,000 as well, and they have a cumulative net worth of about $7.4 trillion.

AI and tech stocks fuel millionaire surge

The millionaire growth rate in the U.S. was partly fueled by a jump in the stock market led by AI and tech companies. The S&P 500 index skyrocketed 24% last year thanks in part to investor optimism over the future of AI.

AI chip supplier Nvidia led the index with a 239% gain in 2023. Meta and Tesla, two other tech giants involved in AI, surged 194% and 102%, respectively, last year. Goldman Sachs estimates that AI investment could reach as high as $200 billion globally by 2025.

The stock market gains that helped add so many millionaires in 2023 have persisted so far this year as the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index hit record highs this week. The S&P 500 is up about 12% year-to-date and some of the biggest players in AI, like Nvidia and Microsoft, have seen their shares continue to soar in 2024.

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