A millionaire (originally and sometimes still millionnaire) is an individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency. It can also be a person who owns one million units of currency in a bank account or savings account. Depending on the currency, a certain level of prestige is associated with being a millionaire, which makes that amount of wealth a goal for some, and almost unattainable for others. 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 (i.e. $1,000,000,000). In contrast, a billionaire in countries that use the long scale number naming system would be someone who has at least a million times a million units of currency (i.e. $1,000,000,000,000). The increasing number of millionaires is partially due to prevailing economics, especially inflation. The purchasing power of a million US dollars in 1959 is equivalent to 7.3 million dollars in 2009. Increasingly, the term denotes the status of high wealth. American sociologist Leonard Beeghley classifies all households with net worth exceeding USD 1 million as "The Rich". As of 2008, there were 10 million people around the globe who are classified as U.S.-dollar millionaires.

Read more about Millionaire:  Terminology, Net Worth Vs. Financial Assets, Influence, Historical Worth, Multimillionaire, Number of Millionaires in The World, Number of Millionaires By Country, Entertainment

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Famous quotes containing the word millionaire:

    Poverty demoralizes. A man in debt is so far a slave; and Wall-street thinks it easy for a millionaire to be a man of his word, a man of honor, but, that, in failing circumstances, no man can be relied on to keep his integrity.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)