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India, China have more affluent families than European countries

India's 3 million wealthy families put it in top 5 richest nations
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An Indian worker arranges statues of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, who represents money or wealth, at a roadside stall in Hyderabad on November 4, 2010, ahead of Diwali. The Hindu festival of Diwali, the festival of lights, will be celebrated on November 5 this year. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

India and China have more wealthy families than European countries, according to market research firm TNS.

According to the firm's 'Global Affluent Investor' study, India, China and Brazil have overtaken many European countries in this measure of consumer wealth.  Each of these countries has more than three million affluent households with over $100,000 in funds for investments.

"India and China have already surpassed major European markets like Germany and France. It's interesting to see that the entrepreneurial spirit of people in these markets is already paying off in terms of personal wealth," the Economic Times quoted TNS Director Business and Finance Reg van Steen as saying.

While the US is ranked as the world's most prosperous country, with 31 million affluent households, UAE and India appear in the top five countries where the affluent have more than USD 1 million investable assets on average, alongside Singapore and Hong Kong, the paper said.

The only Europeans to feature in top five are the Swedish, while the UK and France are the least likely in Europe to have these levels of investable assets, the study said.

However, in small, wealthy countries, the rich make up a much greater percentage of the population: 29 percent for Luxembourg and 20 percent for Singapore, compared to around 1 percent in India and China.

"This demonstrates a great contrast in wealth distribution within emerging markets, even where the actual number of affluent households is high and highlights a need for very precise marketing strategies to reach the right audience," the study said.

The study also revealed regional contrasts in terms of what the affluent actually invest in.

While the Chinese, Indian and German affluent are keen investors in precious metals, this falls to just 3 per cent in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands, and 2 per cent in Denmark and Israel.