World’s Billionaire Population Surged by 40% in the Last Five Years to Hit 2101

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by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
World’s Billionaire Population Surged by 40% in the Last Five Years to Hit 2101
Photo: Unsplash

According to the report recently published by UBS, the number of billionaires in the world has increased by 40% over a period of five years.

2018 was generally not the best year for some of the world’s richest people. Even with all of the effort put in by the mega-rich, the cumulative worth of these billionaires lost more than a pound last year. Regardless, the five years which led up to 2018 is easily commendable as both the total number and wealth all increased. A new report from Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company UBS Group AG, has shown that there are now 2,101 billionaires.

According to the UBS report called “Billionaires Insights 2019: The Billionaire Effect”, the number of billionaires in the world grew by 589 and hit 2,101 from 1,512, representing a 38.9% increase. The report takes the years 2013 to 2018 into account and in that same period, UBS further points out that the combined wealth of the wealthy, also hit an $8.5 trillion total, representing a 34.5% surge.

It has also been pointed out that the same period saw an increase in the number of the world’s female billionaires rising to 233 from 160. This addition of 73 billionaire women shows a 46% increase, over their male counterparts which only increased by 39%.

In 2018, however, the total billionaire wealth saw its first drop since 2013. According to the report, this was generally because of several factors including a general fear of a stunted or reduced growth in the economy, instability in financial markets, as well as trade tensions. Regardless, the drop still put their total worth over $2 trillion in the same period of five years.

As the billionaire wealth failed, Americans among them were somewhat immune and did not lose at all. As a matter of fact, the total wealth of American billionaires saw an increase of 0.1%. Americans also made up 749 of the total number of billionaires, accounting for $3.6 trillion of the total $8.5 trillion.

The Asia Pacific region, however, surpassed any other, and accounted for 36% of the entire number of billionaires. Worth $2.5 trillion, the region has 754 billionaires with China answering for most of the region, at 43%. Other notable countries in the region include India with 14%, Hong Kong with 9% and Japan with 4%. Generally, women in the region led the bump.

According to UBS partner and head of private banking Julia Leong, women are becoming more active in the area. Leong said:

“While Asia continues to be seen as having more traditionally male-dominated cultures, it is heartening to see that the number of female billionaires has grown to more than double over the last five years.”

In all this, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe haven’t exactly been as lucky. In 2018, the number of billionaires combined hit 598, a 5% drop with their total wealth hitting $2.4 trillion.

In 2018 also, the tech industry was the only sector where billionaire wealth rose. Individuals in this category had their worth increasing by 2.4%, accounting for $1.3 trillion.

The report mentions that “impact” has become a keyword for the world’s billionaires and leading entrepreneurs as they engage in philanthropy, and also seek to “engineer far-reaching change.”

News, Personal Finance
Tolu Ajiboye
Author Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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