Global billionaires boom to new record, USA leads pack


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The US accounted for 29% of the global billionaire population and 37% of the cumulative billionaire wealth in 2020

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Billionaires are booming around the world but the United States holds the crown for the most dynamic growth and significant wealth gains.

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According to Wealth-X’s 2021 billionaire census, the total number of billionaires in 2020 grew by 13.4% year-on-year to 3,204. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the deepest contraction in world economic output in a generation, the figure marks the strongest annual growth since 2017. Together, their combined wealth reached $10 trillion, an increase of 5.7% year-on-year.

The United States is the most prominent country for billionaire growth, accounting for 29% of the global billionaire population and 37% of cumulative billionaire wealth in 2020, followed by China with shares of about 13% and Germany with shares of about 5%.

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Out of a total of 3,204 individuals, 670 of them were new billionaires, with average wealth of $1.9 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.

About 60% of the total billionaire population in 2020 was completely self-made, compared to 11% who made their fortunes through inherited wealth and 28.8% who made their fortunes through a combination of inheritance and self-created wealth creation. Made.

As for new billionaires, about 70% are self-made, compared to 7.4% who have inherited their fortune and 22.4% who have a combination of inheritance and self-made wealth creation.

In the United States, 66.6% of billionaires were self-made, while 14% made their fortunes through inheritance and 19.3% made their fortunes through inheritance and self-made wealth creation.

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In North America alone, the number of billionaires increased by 17.5% year-on-year to 980, which equates to a 31% global share. Meanwhile, the collective net worth of the region’s billionaires rose 8% to $3.8 trillion, or a global share of 38%.

The total number of billionaires with wealth from $10 billion to $50 billion saw the strongest growth in terms of both population and net worth combined, growing at 40% or three times faster than the growth of the overall billionaire population.

The expansion was driven by wealth creation in the automotive, technology, materials and shipping and distribution industries. In addition, the hospitality and entertainment sector boosted the total number of billionaires with net worth of over $50 billion.

However, the banking and finance sector remained the top industry for the total billionaire representation.

The top tier of 19 ‘super billionaires’ recorded the second largest increase in population size at 27% and the strongest increase in combined net worth of 9.3%. As of July 2021, the 15 wealthiest billionaires were:

super billionaire

  • Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (201.2 billion)
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk ($181.1 billion)
  • LVMH Moët Hennessy President and CEO Bernard Arnault ($154.4 billion)
  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($142.4 billion)
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ($137.4 billion)
  • Google co-founder Sergey Brin ($127.7 billion)
  • Google co-founder Larry Page ($126.7 billion)
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ($110.5 billion)
  • Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett ($104.2 billion)
  • Oracle CEO Larry Ellison ($94.3 billion)
  • Reliance Industries Limited Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani ($84.6 billion)
  • Inditex Fashion Group founder Amancio Ortega ($80.5 billion)
  • Walmart’s heirs are Jim Walton ($76.3 billion), Alice Walton ($74.7 billion) and Rob Walton ($72.7 billion).

Billionaires with a net worth of more than $50 billion account for about two-thirds of their wealth in the public domain (64.1%), while those with net worth between $1 billion and $2 billion account for about 20%. For new billionaires, the majority of their wealth is in liquid assets (38.4%), followed by public holdings (32.1%) and private holdings (25.2%).

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