- Fifteen countries account for 75% of the world’s billionaire population and 79% of the world’s billionaire wealth, according to Wealth-X’s 2019 Billionaire Census report.
- The US dominates, with 705 billionaires who have a collective wealth of more than $US3 trillion.
- All the top Asia-Pacific countries saw a decrease in billionaire population while major European countries saw variations in billionaire growth.
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Fifteen countries dominate in billionaire population and wealth, according to Wealth-X’s 2019 Billionaire Census report. The report analysed data from Wealth-X’s global database of more than one million records of the world’s richest people.
Three-fourths of the world’s billionaire population lives in the 15 countries listed below. Collectively, the 1,942 billionaires in these countries are worth $US6.8 trillion – that accounts for 79% of total global billionaire wealth in 2018.
When it comes to billionaire population, the United States dominates with 27% of the world’s billionaires. Its total billionaire count rose from 2017 to 2018 by 4% to 705 billionaires. Meanwhile, total billionaire wealth worldwide decreased by 5% to slightly more than $US3 trillion.
All the top Asia-Pacific countries – China, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore – saw a decrease in billionaires and billionaire wealth due to a decline in equity markets, according to the report. Meanwhile, major European countries saw both decreases and increases in billionaires, depending on economic factors.
Note that Hong Kong and Singapore also made Wealth-X’s list of the top 15 cities with the most billionaires – Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China, and Singapore is an island city-state off southern Malaysia.
Take a look at which countries worldwide have the most billionaires, ranked in ascending order.
15. Singapore saw a drop in billionaires because of negative equity market performance.
Number of billionaires: 39
Total billionaire wealth: $US84 billion
Singapore is one of the richest cities in the world: The total private wealth of its residents amounts to $US1 trillion, reported Business Insider’s Katie Warren. It’s also one of the most expensive cities to live in worldwide.
14. Canada’s wealthy are getting richer faster than the rest of the population.
Number of billionaires: 45
Total billionaire wealth: $US87 billion
Ricardo Tranjan, senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), told CBC that “the rich are really sprinting ahead” of average Canadians. According to a CCPA report, the richest families are worth $US3 billion on average and own as much wealth as three Canadian provinces combined.
13. Italy saw a decrease in billionaire population due to political instability.
Number of billionaires: 47
Total billionaire wealth: $US141 billion
In addition to housing nearly 50 billionaires, Italy is home to many destinations frequented by the super rich, including the Amalfi coast, Portofino, Positano, Capri, Cinque Terre, Milan, and Venice.
12. Brazil, too, saw a decrease in billionaires and wealth.
Number of billionaires: 49
Total billionaire wealth: $US154 billion
T11. The United Arab Emirates is the largest wealth market in the Middle East.
Number of billionaires: 55
Total billionaire wealth: $US165 billion
The UAE is also the 26th-largest wealth market (meaning total wealth held) worldwide, according to “The UAE 2018 Wealth Report”. Dubai, which has a strong oil industry, is home to more than half of UAE’s billionaires.
T11. France’s wealth has been fuelled in part by corporate success in recent years.
Number of billionaires: 55
Total billionaire wealth: $US195 billion
Many of Frances billionaires, like LVMH founder and CEO Bernard Arnault, are wealthy from success in the global luxury and fashion business, Hugh Carnegy reported for Financial Times.
9. Saudi Arabia’s richest billionaires were negatively affected by the country’s anti-corruption purge.
Number of billionaires: 57
Total billionaire wealth: $US147 billion
8. India’s wealth highlights severe income inequality.
Number of billionaires: 82
Total billionaire wealth: $US284 billion
7. Hong Kong saw a major decrease in billionaires as Asian equity markets declined.
Number of billionaires: 87
Total billionaire wealth: $US259 billion
Hong Kong has some of the most expensive real estate in the world, and the ultra-rich live in multimillion-dollar mansions, reported Business Insider’s Katie Warren. The average price for a home in Hong Kong was $US1.28 million in the first quarter of 2018, she said.
6. Switzerland attracts businesses because of its technological innovation and favourable tax rates.
Number of billionaires: 91
Total billionaire wealth: $US240 billion
According to Sean Mowbray of Culture Trip, Switzerland’s wealth is fuelled by the country’s ability to innovate and turn raw products into valuable items, like luxury chocolates or diamond bracelets.
5. The UK’s billionaires benefited from a stronger exchange rate against the US dollar.
Number of billionaires: 97
Total billionaire wealth: $US209 billion
Overall billionaire wealth in the UK declined by 16%, according to the report, partly because of weakening asset markets. London specifically, however, saw an increase in its billionaire population due to the exchange rate developments.
4. Russia saw an increase in wealth due to the economy’s recovery and higher commodity output despite volatile energy prices and geopolitical tensions.
Number of billionaires: 102
Total billionaire wealth: $US335 billion
More than half of Russia’s billionaires, including the country’s richest known billionaire, Leonid Mikhelson, live in Moscow.
3. Germany is Europe’s largest national economy, contributing to individual wealth accumulation.
Number of billionaires: 146
Total billionaire wealth: $US442 billion
“Germany’s rich are super-rich,” wrote Derek Scally for The Irish Times. Wealthy Germans tend not to flaunt their money, but treat themselves occasionally, he reported.
2. China accounts for 12% of the global billionaire wealth.
Number of billionaires:285
Total billionaire wealth: $US996 billion
In China, billionaires are largely concentrated in Shenzhen and Hangzhou. According to the report, the number of billionaires in the country declined due to the US-China trade war, softer Chinese demand, emerging market volatility, and weakening global growth.
1. The United States is the dominant billionaire country.
Number of billionaires: 705
Total billionaire wealth: $US3.013 trillion
Billionaires in the United States have a combined net worth exceeding the total wealth among billionaires of the previous eight highest-ranked countries combined. They account for 27% of the world’s billionaires and 35% of global billionaire wealth.
New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have the highest concentration of billionaires in the country.
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