The world’s billionaire population ballooned by 6.4% to 2,473 in 2015 — a new record, according to wealth information and insight firm Wealth-X, which released its annual Billionaire Census
Monday. This number includes only 294 female billionaires.
The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires, defined as individuals with a net worth of $1 billion or above, increased by 5.4% to a record $7.7 trillion, according to 2015-2016 Billionaire Census. For example, GDP only of two countries are higher than this figure: US and China.
Wealth-X is a consulting group that uses public records and research staff to manually track the habits of ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
“The only comprehensive study of the global billionaire population, the 2015-2016 Billionaire Census provides unprecedented insight into the assets, lifestyle, motivations and social networks of the world's wealthiest individuals. This year's report details the life cycle of the average billionaire, from education and accumulation of wealth to philanthropy and transfer of wealth,” is said in their statement.
Still there's still only one billionaire in the world for every 2.95 million people. Billionaires controlled 3.9% of the world’s total household wealth in 2015, slightly down from 4% in 2014.
“Wealth helps accumulate more wealth,” says David Barks, associate director of custom research for Wealth-X.
Most billionaires, 1,013, live in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while the Americas come in second with 782 billionaires. With 678 billionaires in total number, Asia-Pacific produced four times more billionaires than the Americas during 2015.
But, the Americas did overtake Europe, the Middle East and Africa in total billionaire wealth, clocking in at $3 trillion, compared with about $2.8 trillion for EMEA.
57% of wealthy men are self-made billionaires with a 7% increase from 2014 number.
Financial and banking investments remain primary source for wealth creation among global billionaires.
But billionaires become not as greedy as it may seem. Philanthropy was the primary passion among global billionaires, as it was in 2014, the census found. More than 56% of total billionaires either undertake or are interested in pursuing philanthropic activities. This latest research shows that the richest men donate $110 million over lifetime.