China wealth
China\'s wealth is growing so rapidly that the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn\'t include Japan, is expected to surpass North America in 2016. Reuters

Maybe it's time to learn Mandarin. Wealth is growing gangbusters in China. The nation has created a million new millionaires, and the total private wealth of the Asia-Pacific region has surpassed Europe's. It's on track to leave North America in the dust by 2016.

The number of millionaires in China rose from three million to four million in 2014, fuelled by growing investment in domestic equities, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group.

Private wealth in the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn't include Japan, increased by 29% in 2014, surpassing strong private wealth surges in other emerging markets such as eastern Europe (19%) and Latin America (10%).

Growth in emerging markets has eclipsed that of "old world" regions such as North America, where growth remained in the single digits, according to the report.

If the private riches of the Asia-Pacific region continue to increase as predicted, they will reach $57tn (£36tn, €50.2tn) in 2016, surpassing those of North America, which BCG projects will reach $56tn.

The US still boasts the highest number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (those with a net worth of at least $30m) — at 5,201, that's nearly five times as many as the 1,037 in China.

Switzerland has the highest proportion of millionaires relative to its population size, with 135 of them per 1,000 households, followed by Bahrain, Qatar, Singapore, Kuwait, and Hong Kong.