First Global Census Shows Record of 2,170 Billionaires Worldwide.
The global billionaire population reached a record 2,170 individuals in 2013 and total billionaire wealth in Asia surged nearly 13 percent, making it the fastest-growing region, according to the inaugural Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013.
At current growth rates, the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, the first-ever comprehensive global study on this ultra wealth tier, forecasts that Asia will catch up with North America in five years. Asia also saw the highest percentage rise in billionaire population (3.7% from 2012) and total wealth (13%) in 2013, suggesting that it is driving the tectonic shifts in wealth globally.
The report also shows that 810 individuals became billionaires since the 2009 global financial crisis. The billionaire population’s combined net worth more than doubled from US$3.1 trillion in 2009 to US$6.5 trillion in 2013 – enough
to fund the United States budget deficit until 2024, and greater than the GDP of every country except the United States and China.
Self-made billionaires make up 60 percent of the population while 20 percent have inherited their wealth. Another 20 percent have part-inherited and part-made their own fortunes.
Globally, all of the four “mega-billionaires”, who each have a net worth of more than US$50 billion, are self-made individuals.
These “mega-billionaires” are Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Amancio Ortega and Warren Buffet.
First generation wealth constitutes US$3.8 trillion of global UHNW fortunes,presenting significant opportunities for financial advisors and family offices.
Key findings from the inaugural report:
- The global billionaire population rose by 0.5 percent and their total wealth increased by 5.3 percent in the past year.
- Europe is home to the most billionaires (766 individuals). However, North America has the most billionaire wealth (US$2,158 billion).
- Asia contributed the largest number of new billionaires (18) this year, followed by North America (11).
- Latin America is the slowest growing region in terms of billionaire wealth, increasing by just 2.3 percent in the past year.
- As of 2013, the average net worth of the world’s billionaires is US$3 billion.Globally, there are 111 individuals who each have a net worth that exceeds US$10 billion. Their combined net worth is over US$1.9 trillion, greater than the GDP of Canada.
- Despite popular notions of billionaires being jet-setting, cosmopolitan individuals, most billionaires are still based in the same locations where they were raised.
- 60 percent of billionaires are self-made, while 40 percent inherited their wealth or grew their fortunes from inheritance.
- Only 17 percent of female billionaires are self-made, while 71 percent gained their fortunes through inheritance.
The report – which looks at the global billionaire population from July 2012 to June 2013 – examines this tier of the ultra affluent population by region, country, gender and the sources of their wealth.