Though world gross domestic product shrank in 2009, high-net-worth individuals managed to almost make up for 2008 losses, according to the Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini 14th annual "World Wealth Report."

The number of high-net-worth individuals around the world returned to the 10 million mark in 2009 and their wealth soared 18.9%, to $39 trillion.

Emerging markets drove the gains. "The rebound has been, and will continue to be, driven by emerging markets," Bertrand Lavayssiere, managing director of global financial services at Capgemini, said in a press release Tuesday.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.