An estimated 130.000 Brazilians, or about 0.75% of the country's population, have financial assets valued at over a million US dollars, which totals 573 billion US dollars, well above half the country's GDP, according to a report published in daily Folha de S. Paulo.
However these sums only refer to financial assets and bank accounts, points out the newspaper report, which was made with data from the Internal Revenue Office and The Boston Consulting Group, which is planning to release the full report sometime next September.
Between 2003 and 2005, Brazil with a population of 189 million climbed from a world position of 18th place to 14th regarding the number of millionaires in the country. Among emerging economies Brazil overtook India and Russia and is only behind China, points out the report.
The total fortune of Brazil's millionaires jumped from 540 billion in 2003 to 573 billion in 2005, which is equivalent to 53.7% of the country's GDP.
The increase in assets of the richest Brazilians can be explained by the stabilization of the country's economy and the stock exchange. Since the arrival of socialist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2002 the São Paulo Stock Exchange index has multiplied by five.
Gabriel Ulysses, researcher from the São Paulo Applied Economics Research Institute argues that Brazil's social balance remains unchanged with "10% of the population holding 80% of the country's overall income."