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There are now 2,101 billionaires globally – up almost 40% from five years ago

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The world’s
billionaire population continues to swell, despite the uber wealthy taking a hit
to their bank balances last year, a new study has found.

There are
now some 2,101 billionaires globally — 589 individuals (or 38.9%) more than
five years ago, according to UBS’s 2019 Billionaire Insights report.

Over that
same five-year period, their combined wealth grew by more than a third (34.5%)
to reach a total of $8.5 trillion. The report covers the years 2013 to 2018.

Total
billionaire wealth fell for the first time in five years during 2018 on the
back of “a strong U.S. dollar, trade friction, fears of lower economic growth,
and financial market volatility,” the Swiss bank found. Even still, billionaire
wealth remained up $2.2 trillion from 2013.

American
billionaires were the only ones who did not suffer a dip in 2018, with their
wealth nudging up 0.1%. As of year-end, the region was home to some 749
billionaires with a combined wealth of $3.6 trillion.

The Asia
Pacific region, however, remained home to the world’s greatest number of
billionaires. With 754 billionaires, whose combined wealth totalled $2.5
trillion, the region represents 36% of the global billionaire population.

Within
that, China accounts for 43% of the region’s billionaires. India makes
up 14%, Hong Kong 9% and Japan just 4%.

In Europe,
the Middle East and Africa’s billionaire population fell 5%
last year to 598 individuals, whose combined wealth totalled $2.4 trillion.

The report
also highlighted a notable uptick in the number of women joining the ranks.
There are now 233 female billionaires globally, up 46% from the 160 recorded in
2013 and outpacing the 39% rate of growth displayed by their male counterparts
over that period.

That growth
was led largely by women in Asia and women entrepreneurs.

“While Asia continues to be seen as having more traditionally male-dominated cultures, it is heartening to see that the number of female billionaire has grown to more than double over the last five years,” Julia Leong, partner and private banking lead, noted in the report.

source: cnbc.com

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