September 16, 2009

Balance of wealth shifts U.S. to No. 2

The economic crisis has shifted the balance of wealth, as North America's wealth has dropped 21.8 percent due to the recession, a Boston research group said.

Boston Consulting Group said Europe is now wealthier than North America in terms of assets under management.

Europe, where asset values dropped 5.8 percent from 2008, is worth 36.6 trillion -- a quarter of the globe's wealth, the Euobserver reported Wednesday.

The United States still boasts the most millionaires with nearly 4 million.

The study also found wealth among families with under $132,411 in total assets increased 2 percent in 2008, while the value of assets among families worth $6.6 million or more dropped 21.5 percent, meaning the gap between the rich and the poor has shrunk, the report said.