There are 2,604 billionaires in the world, according to the Wealth-X Billionaire Census 2019, and over a quarter of these ultra-high-net-worth individuals (705) reside in the US. China, the country with the second-highest number of billionaires, has 285, Germany 146 and Russia 102.
In 2018, the global billionaire population fell 5.4% from a year earlier to 2,604 and their worth declined by 7% to $8.6 trillion. The report attributed the decline to heightened market volatility, global trade tensions and a slowdown in economic growth.
The billionaires are increasingly congregating in a cluster of cities - a total of 773 billionaires are living in the top 15 billionaire cities, accounting for nearly 30% of the global billionaire population in 2018, said the report. New York is the world's leading residence for billionaires with the figure reaching 105.
Against a backdrop of heightened market volatility, global trade tensions and a slowdown in economic growth, the combined wealth of the world's billionaires dropped by 7% to $8.6trn"
In San Francisco, one in every 11,600 is a billionaire. It has the highest density of billionaires in the world since NY has a bigger population.
Almost all of the current richest billionaires are self-made, from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world with a current net worth of more than $155bn, according to Forbes, to Google co-founders Larry Page (more than $53bn) and Sergey Brin (more than $52bn), the 10th and 11th richest respectively, according to Forbes.
China has the second-most number of billionaires, with Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou ranking among top 15 billionaire cities.China had 285 billionaires with their total wealth reaching $996bn in 2018, while the United States had 705 billionaires, the highest, with a net worth of $3.013trn, said the report.
The report noted that apart from the US, U.K., Russia, and France, nearly all of the top 15 countries by billionaire population saw a decline. Asia-Pacific's billionaire population fell by 13.4%, driven by large declines in China, India, and Singapore.
The region also saw the largest decline in billionaire wealth - billionaires here saw their net worth fall by an average of 9%, compared to 7% in EMEA and 6% in the Americas.
"Against a backdrop of heightened market volatility, global trade tensions and a slowdown in economic growth, the combined wealth of the world's billionaires dropped by 7% to $8.6trn," the report states, adding that American billionaires fared better than others around the world thanks to tax cuts and "robust corporate earnings."
Banking and finance, industrial conglomerates, real estate, food and beverages, and manufacturing were the top five primary industries that created billionaires.
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