Where the world’s billionaires live
New report says China is catching up with US as global hub for the mega-rich
The world’s billionaires celebrated the greatest ever yearly increase in their combined wealth in 2017, a new report has found.
The aggregate wealth of the total 2,158 billionaires grew by $1.4trn (£1.1trn) to $8.9trn (£6.96trn) - an increase of 19% - according to the fifth Billionaires Insight Report, produced by investment bank UBS and accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“To put that 19% in perspective, the average pace of growth over the last five years has been 9%,” says Yahoo Finance.
John Mathews, head of UBS Private Wealth Management for the Americas, told the business news site: “The reality of it is the impact and the way we live our lives with the wealth being created, not just with the billionaires themselves, but with everyone associated with it, has just accelerated at a pace I’m not sure we were even ready for.”
The number of people in the ultra-rich club grew by 179 last year, up from 1,979 in 2016.
Of the 2017 total, 373 billionaires were from China, compared with just 16 in 2006. And while the average age of the world’s mega-rich is 64, in China, it’s 55.
With the added advantage of a vast population of around 1.4 billion people, China is on track to eventually overtake the US as the global “billionaire hotspot”, the report says. There are currently 631 billionaires in the US.
The report authors note that China’s “outstanding economic and market conditions made it ideal for wealth creation”, with the nation’s real GDP growing by 6.9% in 2017.
“The growth of China’s e-commerce and technology businesses exploded in 2017,” they add. Significantly, China has more than 770 million internet users to utilise these home-grown industries.
Globally the UK ranks seventh on the new list of the countries with the most billionaires, behind Hong Kong, Russia, India and Germany, plus the big two, the US and China.
For a more in-depth breakdown, here is a map showing where the world’s billionaires live:
Infographic provided for TheWeek.co.uk by HowMuch.net