The number of millionaires in the world rose 6.5% in 2005 to a total of 8.7 million people with combined total assets of $33.6 trillion, a survey by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini found. Their net worth is double from 10 years ago, when the two companies began the annual survey of people with financial assets of $1 million or more.
The new rich grew at the fastest pace in South Korea (up 21.3%), followed by India (19.3%), Russia (17.4%) and South Africa (15.9%). Brazil and China are also experiencing increases in affluence. What's driving the wealth upsurge is oil, real estate and stocks.