March 4, 2024

If you want to join the richest 1% in Monaco, you need eight-figure wealth.

It would take $12.4 million to cut spending in the tiny Mediterranean principality, where billionaire residents like British industrialist Jim Ratcliffe and Walgreens Boots Alliance chairman Stefano Pessina typically pay no income or capital gains taxes, according to research by Knight Frank.

Switzerland and Australia are the second-highest entry points, requiring net worth of $6.6 million and $5.5 million, respectively, according to data released Wednesday as part of the realtor’s 2023 wealth report. In the US, $5.1 million will get you over the threshold.

The findings highlight how the pandemic and soaring living costs are widening the gap between rich and poor countries. The entry barrier for the richest in Monaco is more than 200 times the US$57,000 required to join the 1% in the Philippines, one of the 25 lowest-ranked locations in the Knight Frank study.

Low-income households around the world are feeling the burden of inflation, forcing them to spend a significant portion of their income on food and housing, according to the World Bank. Meanwhile, the world’s 500 richest people have added nearly $600 billion to their combined wealth this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, led by Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Flora Harley, a partner in Knight Frank’s research team, said in a statement: “Rising inequality around the world is likely to focus more on this group – especially if more taxes are imposed on assets and even emissions. Down.”

The global number of ultra-wealthy will fall by 3.8% to about 580,000 in 2022 after surging the previous year. Still, Middle Eastern countries including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia saw growth last year as energy prices rebounded, according to Knight Frank.

“The recent dip will prove short-lived as we adjust to the new economic environment,” said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank.