The number of billionaires has reached 2,325 globally, according to the 2014 Billionaire Census of Wealth-X and UBS. That is the largest billionaire population the world has ever seen. Their combined wealth of these ultra high net worth individuals (UHNW) is estimated at $7.3 trillion. In comparison, in 2013, the number of billionaires was 2,170 and their combined net worth amounted to $6.5 trillion. This means that for just one year, the billionaire’s population has increased by 7.1% and its wealth has jumped by 11.9%.
Europe has the largest billionaire population. According to the report, 775 billionaires live on the Old Continent. Their total wealth is calculated at nearly $2.38 trillion. However, the country with the most billionaires today is not set in Europe, but in North America. The United States has the largest UHNW population in the world that amounts to 571 people. China, another non-European country, is second with 190 billionaires, followed by the United Kingdom with 130.
There are 609 UHNW individuals in North America or 10.3% more compared to last year. Despite that, they are almost as rich as those in Europe since their wealth is over $2.37 trillion. Asia’s billionaire population is estimated at 560 people and their combined net worth – at $1.41 trillion or nearly 19% more than in 2013.
Only the Middle East and Africa witnessed a drop in their UHNW population. The Middle East saw a decline of 1.9% and now has 154 billionaires. Africa, on the other hand, registered a decrease of 4.8%, which shrunk the number of its billionaires to just 40. But, compared to the Pacific region, that is 6 billionaires more.
The research has also found that New York is the billionaires’ capital, because it is home of 103 billionaires. It is followed by the Moscow with 85 billionaires and Hong Kong with 82. London comes fourth with a billionaire population of 72 people.
Dubai can be called the billionaire capital of the Middle East. It has a total of 34 UHNW individuals. In addition, it is the city with the eight highest billionaire population in the world. Still, 38% of the billionaires living in Dubai were born outside the UAE.
Another interesting fact highlighted in the report of Wealth-X and UBS is that the average age of today’s billionaire is 63. In addition to that, it was discovered that it takes an average of at least 45 years to turn into an UHNW individual, even with 20% of wealth is being inherited today. The good news is that you do not need to go to university in order to become super rich.
About 35% of today’s billionaires do not have a university degree. Also, almost 50% of them hold their wealth in their ownership of privately held businesses.
The study also predicts that by 2020 the world’s billionaire population will top 3,800.