Asia boasts the largest billionaire wealth increase, with the region’s billionaires’ fortunes growing by 18.7% over the past year, according to a study from Wealth-X and UBS.
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.
Within Asia, China has the most number of billionaires at 190, followed by India (100), Hong Kong (82), Japan (33) and Singapore (32).
Taiwan was in sixth place with 29, followed by South Korea (21), Indonesia (19) and Thailand (17). The Philippines rounded up Asia’s top 10 with 13 billionaires.
Globally, 155 new billionaires were minted this year, pushing the global population to a record 2,325 – a 7% rise from 2013.
The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by 12% to US$7.3 trillion, which is higher than the combined market capitalization of all the companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Only 5% of the world’s billionaires are worth more than US$10 billion.
The study 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.
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.
Nearly 35% of the world’s billionaires are concentrated in 20 cities, according to the study. It also revealed that billionaires are transnational. They move from city to city, rather than from country to country.
The study also revealed that 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.