Global billionaire population increases 7 percent

The number of billionaires around the world has risen by 155 to 2,325, a 7% increase, says the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014.

The total wealth of all billionaires worldwide grew 12% to $7.3 trillion, which is greater than the combined market capitalization of all the Dow Jones Industrial Average companies.

According to the report, Europe has the most billionaires (775), with a total worth of $2.37 trillion. North America, which led the field in 2013, has been pushed into second place this year.

Asia boasts the fastest growth, however. From 2013 to 2014, the region posted an 18.7% increase in the number of billionaires. Thirty percent of the net increase in worldwide billionaire wealth so far this year comes from Asia.

In 2014, fifty two new billionaires have joined the super-rich club in Asia, with 33 of them from China.

If measured by country (rather than region), the United States is still in first place with 571 billionaires, followed by China with 190, the UK with 130, and then Germany with 123. This year, the UK pushed Germany into fourth place.

Below are some highlighted data from the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014:

  • Europe: has over one third of all billionaires,
  • Latin America & Caribbean: posted the most significant growth (37.8%), while Asia reported the largest increase (18.7%) in billionaire wealth,
  • Middle East: the billionaire population dropped by -1.9%, while total wealth jumped 16.7%,
  • Africa: posted a -4.8 decline in the number of billionaires, but a 12.9% increase in billionaire wealth,
  • Pacific: with 34 billionaires, the total number remains unchanged, while total wealth fell by -2%,
  • Demographics: almost 35% of all billionaires globally live in 20 cities. Billionaires tend to move from city-to-city more than from country-to-country – they are transnational.
  • Super billionaires: only 5% of billionaires globally have wealth exceeding $10 billion,
  • Wealth increase: on average, billionaires this year have seen a 4.4% increase in their wealth, to slightly more than $3.1 billion,
  • Age: in 2014, the average age is 63, compared to 62 last year,
  • Sex: 286 of all billionaires are female.

Wealth-X CEO, Mykolas Rambus, said:

“Wealth-X is pleased to partner with UBS for a second consecutive year to produce the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census. Expert commentary from UBS complements Wealth-X’s global intelligence on the world’s billionaire population, producing a report that demonstrates a true collaboration between the global leader in wealth management and the world’s leading UHNW intelligence provider.”