Canada moved up to fifth last year on a list of countries with the most millionaire households, according to a Boston Consulting Group report that shows the United States was again at No. 1.

There were 485,000 millionaire households in Canada in 2016 and 385,000 in 2015, when Canada ranked eighth, according to the report on global wealth. Those millionaire households represented 3.5 per cent all Canadian households and held 32.5 per cent of the wealth in 2016, says the seventh annual report released this week.

BCG also forecasts that by 2021, Canada will have 785,000 millionaire households that are expected to hold about 38 per cent of the wealth and represent 5.5 per cent of all households. BCG expects Canada will be down to seventh on its list of millionaire households by then, as it gets passed by Germany and France.

In addition, overall household wealth in Canada is projected to grow from $5 trillion last year to $5.9 trillion in five years.

U.S. still leads

Last year, the United States had more than seven million households considered to be in the millionaire category, followed by China, Japan and the U.K. — all holding the same position last year.

Bahrain had the highest proportion of millionaire households. According to BCG', just over 18 per cent of households in the Persian Gulf country were in the millionaire category.

Overall, global private financial wealth, which includes investments, life insurance and pensions, but excludes real estate, grew by more than five per cent last year, to $166.5 trillion US, according to BCG's report.

The main drivers of that expansion were accelerating economic growth and the strong performance in stocks markets in many parts of the world, BCG said.

Its report on growing wealth was released as Canadian debt levels continue to rise.

According to a report published this week by TransUnion Canada, consumers continued to spend on credit in the first three months of 2017, bringing the average non-mortgage debt across the country to $21,696, up 1.9 per cent from the same period a year ago.