The 17 of the most common hobbies of the richest people in the world

Richard Branson flyingDon Arnold/GettyThey really 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 new report from Wealth-X, a market research firm that focuses on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, we get a peek at the top passions, interests, and hobbies of people with $US30 million or more in assets.

Philanthropy proved the most popular hobby, with more than one-third 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.

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

From art and fashion to hunting and fishing, read on to see 17 of the most common hobbies and passions of the wealthiest of the wealthy: the world’s billionaires — culled from Wealth-X’s 2016 billionaire census — as well as the percentage of billionaires who participate in each.

An earlier version of this post was written by Emmie Martin.

17. Skiing -- 7.2%

Dieter Mateschitz, billionaire owner of the Red Bull energy drink company, attends the men's downhill at the Hahnenkamm Ski Races in 2004 in Austria.

16. Watches -- 7.7%

Getty Images/Levent Kulu

15. Fishing -- 7.8%

iStock

14. Jewellery -- 8.1%

Yvette Prieto flashes the rock given to her by husband Michael Jordan, billionaire owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.

13. Hunting -- 8.8%

Shutterstock

12. Reading -- 12.3%

Bill Gates Foundation
Bill Gates shares what he's reading.

11. Football/soccer -- 13.1%

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich looks on as Chelsea win the Premier League title in London, England in 2015.

10. Collectibles -- 14.1%

9. Automobiles -- 14.5%

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV.

8. Health and exercise -- 14.8%

Facebook
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg loves to run.

7. Boating -- 14.9%

Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison, who has a net worth of more than $48 billion, celebrates during the America's Cup sailing competition.

6. Wine and spirits -- 15.9%

Amy Sussman/Getty
John Paul DeJoria is the founder of Patron Tequila.

5. Politics -- 22.2%

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

4. Fashion and style -- 25.2%

Warren Buffett arrives dressed to the nines at a State Dinner in honour of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House.

3. Art -- 28.7%

Walmart heiress Alice Walton's immense art collection can be viewed at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

2. Travel -- 31%

Richard Branson poses alongside Virgin Australia staff.

1. Philanthropy -- 56.3%

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

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