A millionaire is an individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency. Depending on the currency, a certain level of prestige is associated with being a millionaire. In countries that use the short scale number naming system, a billionaire is someone who has at least a thousand times a million dollars, euros or the currency of the given country.
Many national currencies have, or have had at various times, a low unit value, in many cases due to past inflation. It is obviously much easier and less significant to be a millionaire in those currencies, thus a millionaire (in the local currency) in Hong Kong or Taiwan, for example, may be merely averagely wealthy, or perhaps less wealthy than average. A millionaire in Zimbabwe in 2007 could have been extremely poor. Because of this, the United States Dollar (USD) is the most widely used currency standard to compare the wealth of people all over the world. Hence a person must have a net worth of at least one million USD to be recognised as a millionaire anywhere in the world.
As of December 2020, there were estimated to be 46.8 million millionaires or high-net-worth individual (HNWIs) in the world. The United States has 18.6 million HNWIs (40% of all HNWIs), the largest number of any country. Some millionaires and billionaires do not leave the bulk of their wealth to their descendants but instead establish a philanthropic foundation or otherwise engage in philanthropy
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