North America – the region with the most billionaire wealth in 2013 – overtaken by Europe in terms of billionaire wealth.
155 new billionaires were minted this year, pushing the global population to a record 2,325 – a 7% rise from 2013, according to the second Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014, one of the most comprehensive study of its kind.
The Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 shows that Europe, with 775 billionaires, is the region with the most billionaires and billionaire wealth (US$2.37 trillion). North America – the region with the most billionaire wealth in 2013 – was overtaken by Europe in terms of billionaire wealth in this year’s census.
Asia, however, boasted the largest billionaire wealth increase, with the region’s billionaires’ fortunes growing by 18.7% over the past year. The region is responsible for 30% of the net increase in global billionaire wealth in 2014. Asia’s billionaire population grew by 10% in 2014, with 52 new entrants into the billionaire club – 33 are from China.
The United States maintains its position as the world’s top billionaire country with a population of 571 billionaires in 2014, followed by China (190) and the United Kingdom (130), which took the third spot from Germany (123) on the Top 40 Billionaire Countries/Territories list.
The census – which looks at the global billionaire population from July 2013 to June 2014 – examined this top-tier wealth segment by geographical location, gender, sources of wealth and personal traits.
Some of the key findings from the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014:
- Europe is home to more than a third of the world’s billionaire population.
- Latin America and the Caribbean is the region that saw the most significant growth in terms of the size of its billionaire population (37.8%) in 2014, but Asia saw the fastest growth in billionaire wealth (18.7%).
- The billionaire population in the Middle East shrank by 1.9%, but total billionaire wealth in the region rose by 16.7%.
- The size of Africa’s billionaire population decreased by 4.8%, but the region’s billionaire wealth increased by 12.9%.
- There was no change in the billionaire population in the Pacific (34 billionaires), but the region’s total billionaire wealth dropped by 2%.
- Nearly 35% of the world’s billionaires are concentrated in 20 cities. Billionaires are transnational. They move from city to city, rather than from country to country.
- Only 5% of the world’s billionaires are worth more than US$10 billion.
- The average billionaire’s wealth rose by 4.4% this year to just over US$3.1 billion.
- The average age of the typical billionaire is 63, one year older than it was in 2013.
- There are 2,039 male billionaires in 2014, accounting for 87.7% of the world’s total billionaire wealth of US$7.3 trillion.
- There are 286 female billionaires in 2014, accounting for a 12.3% share of global billionaire wealth.