Being a billionaire is now a more humdrum affair than ever before. The once rarefied cadre of humans with a net worth eclipsing $1 billion ballooned to 2,473 in 2015 — a new record, according to wealth information and insight firm Wealth-X, which released its annual Billionaire Census Monday.
Though the three-comma club is becoming more crowded, there’s still only one billionaire in the world for every 2.95 million people.
Wealth-X also found that the richest people on earth are richer than ever before. The combined net worth of all billionaires increased 5.3% to $7.7 trillion — larger than the GDP of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, or Japan.
Other notable findings from Wealth-X’s report:
- Finance is still the most common industry to build a billion-dollar fortune, but the number of billionaires in the industry decreased by 5.5% in the past year, and their wealth fell by 6.6%.
- Asia is the fastest-growing region for the ultra-rich. The number of billionaires grew by 15.2% to 645 and their net worth climbed 19.6% to $1.69 trillion.
- The most common hobby or passion among billionaires: philanthropy. It’s not just Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — 56.3% of billionaires have a passion for giving back. Other top hobbies? Travel, art, politics, and boating.
- Cash is king. Billionaires are selling assets in favour of increasing liquidity. The approximate billionaire portfolio is now 22% liquid assets, an uptick from recent years.
- The gender gap widens. Of the 148 new billionaires since 2014, 140 of them are male.
You can read the full report here.
Or, read about the 50 richest people in the world — a joint project between Business Insider and Wealth-X.
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