What the data says:

  • The average age of the UK millionaire is 55 and UK multimillionaire ($30 million and above) is 57.
  • The UK has the second youngest average age for both millionaires and multimillionaires in the G8 and the third youngest in the G20 after both Russia & China (see table below).
  • The global average age of millionaires is 57 and multimillionaires 60.

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The figures show that the UK has one of the lowest average ages for both millionaires ($1-30 million) and multimillionaires ($30 million and above) in the world, sitting behind only Russia and China in the G20. With an average millionaire age of just 55 and multimillionaire age of 57, the UK sits well below the likes of France, Germany and the USA.

Millionaires and multimillionaires tend to be younger in the UK than elsewhere in the Western world because of several factors, according to Spear’s editor Josh Spero.

"First, we have a long history of entrepreneurialism, building companies which grow to span the world. Whether these have been industrial businesses in the Victorian era or financial services today, we have strong examples and a culture which supports it. Second, young Britons are often developers and early adopters of technologies, seizing on their potential for business. Finally, we share an approach to business with America, where we try and encourage people to make it rather than wrapping them up in red tape and strangling them with high tax rates, as too often happens in Europe."

The average age of millionaires and multimillionaires reflects deeper trends in society

"Japan and Italy have an ageing population who live longer and keep hold of their money longer, preventing it flowing down to successive generations, whereas Russia experiences a free-for-all after the Soviet Union collapsed and opportunistic young businessmen acted quickly to get hold of state assets. Western countries, with greater access to technologies, will be creating millionaires younger too as they take advantage of these new fields of business," says Spero.

Argentina has the oldest average age of millionaire and multimillionaire in the G20 at 67.8 and 68.1 respectively, reflecting the economic crisis of the 1980s and 1990s which prevented young millionaire and multimillionaire growth.

According to Oliver Williams, an analyst at WealthInsight, these statistics could well change over the next decade. "We’re likely to see a lower average age of millionaires in the UK as 452,000 new millionaires enter the picture between now and 2017."

However, it is not the same story for Russia: "The average age difference between millionaires and multimillionaires in Russia – already above average – will further separate as the original oligarchy hold on to their empires into old age."

"I hope we see Africa starting to produce generations of millionaires," adds Spero. "Its population is young and booming, giving vitality and innovation and a huge potential market. Now that technology is reaching Africa much more effectively, its younger generations will be able to bring its benefits to the continent through smart start-ups. Added to this is the continent’s growing middle class, who need products and services, which businesses will spring up to provide."