The 10 most common hobbies among the richest people in world, from aviation to real estate

Don Arnold/GettyA lot of billionaires, including Richard Branson, love to travel.

When rich people have free time, they have the means for extravagant hobbies, whether it’s collecting classic cars or jet-setting across the globe. But the most common hobby they pursue isn’t a gaudy display of wealth – it’s philanthropy.

In a report from Wealth-X, a market research firm that focuses on ultra-high net worth individuals, we get a peek at the top passions, interests, and hobbies of people with a net worth of $US1 billion or more.

Philanthropy proved the most popular hobby, with more than half of the world’s wealthiest people pursuing charitable activities. This generosity comes as no surprise, though, thanks to the rise in recognition of endeavours such as The Giving Pledge, a promise started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime.

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The second-most popular interest among this group is watching, playing, and investing in sports, including tennis, soccer, skiing, American football, and most of all, golf, according to Wealth-X.

From art and fashion to hunting and fishing, read on to see the 10 most common hobbies and passions of the wealthiest of the wealthy, ranked in order of popularity.


10. Boating

Ezra Shaw/GettyOracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison, who has a net worth of more than $US48 billion, celebrates during the America’s Cup sailing competition.

According to Wealth-X, 21.8% of the billionaires worth $US5 billion or more enjoy boating. That includes Oracle founder Larry Ellison, whose net worth is north of $US56 billion.


9. Travel

Harrison Jacobs/Business InsiderEgypt is billionaires favourite vacation spot in 2019, according to boutique luxury travel agency Original Travel.

Egypt, Japan and Iceland are favourite travel destinations of the world’s wealthiest people, Business Insider’s Hillary Hoffower previously reported.

Read more: These are the 15 hottest destinations billionaires are travelling to in 2019


8. Outdoor Activities

alexandraandresen/InstagramBillionaire banking heiress Alexandra Andresen (right), pictured here with older sister Katharina (left), can be seen riding horses and hiking on her Instagram account.

Outdoor activities are a favourite pastime of American billionaires in particular, according to Wealth-X.

Read more: This is how the world’s youngest billionaires spend their time and money


7. Art

D Dipasupil/Getty ImagesWalmart heiress Alice Walton’s immense art collection can be viewed at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Collecting art is a more popular hobby among billionaires worth $US5 billion or more than it is among billionaires whose net worth is under $US5 billion. Wealth-X reports that 35.8% of top-tier billionaires are interested in art, compared to 19.6% of billionaires worth between $US1 billion and $US5 billion.


6. Education

Bill Gates FoundationBill Gates shares what he’s reading.

Chinese billionaires are more interested in education than other billionaires. According to Wealth-X, 25.4% of Chinese billionaires are interested in education. Meanwhile, education does not rank among the top five passions of American billionaires, German billionaires, or billionaires at large.


5. Real estate

Screenshot via Bing MapsGeorge Soros has several homes, including this Southampton estate where the billionaire hosted his 80th birthday party in 2010.

Not only is real estate a major hobby among billionaires, it’s also an industry that’s responsible for a lot of their wealth. According to Wealth-X, 7.6% of billionaires worldwide work in real estate. Only finance and industrial conglomerates employ more billionaires – 20.7% and 13.1% respectively.


4. Politics

Getty ImagesBillionaire Michael Bloomberg served 12 years as mayor of New York City.

While some billionaires, including Michael Bloomberg and Howard Shultz, have run for public office, more billionaires participate in politics through donations. Financier George Soros and hedge fund managers Tom Steyer and Donald Sussman are major funders of the Democratic party, according to CNN.


3. Aviation

Don Arnold/GettyRichard Branson poses alongside Virgin Australia staff.

According to Wealth-X, 26.4% of billionaires across the globe are interested in aviation. Flying is most popular among American billionaires: 45.2% of billionaires in the US are aviators. Aviation doesn’t rank in the top five hobbies of Chinese and German billionaires.


2. Sports

FacebookFacebook founder Mark Zuckerberg loves to run.

Golf is billionaires’ favourite sport, according to Wealth-X, with 28.2% of billionaires worth $US5 billion or more and 26.9% of billionaires worth less than $US5 billion being fans.

Soccer is also popular among billionaires, but like golf, it is more popular with top-tier billionaires.


1. Philanthropy

Wikimedia CommonsBill and Melinda Gates are renowned for their commitment to philanthropy and their charitable work through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Philanthropy is billionaires’ overall favourite hobby, with 52% of the world’s billionaires making charitable donations in 2018. Education is their preferred cause according to Wealth-X, followed by social services and the arts.

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