Billionaires belong to an exclusive club that numbers 2,754 people out of the entire world population of 7.6 billion.
But their wealth soared by a massive 24% to record levels last year, according to a survey of the world’s richest people by consultancy Wealth-X.
Every year, Wealth-X carries out a billionaire census scrutinising information about those with the largest fortunes on the planet.
The 2018 survey reveals that the number of billionaires increased by 15% last year – from 2,473 to 2,754 and have a wealth of $9.205 billion.
Most live in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) – where 1,054 people share $3,007 billion, while 816 worth $2,440 billion are in the Asia Pacific and 884 live in the Americas and have a wealth totalling $3,758 billion.
Net worth surges
Billionaires growing their wealth lived mostly in the Asia Pacific, where their net worth surged by 50% after a slight fall the year before. In the Americas and EMEA, billionaire fortunes grew by 22% and 12% respectively.
The number of wealthy women is also rising – growing 18% to take a 11.7% share of the billionaire population.
Although the Americas is the dominant area for billionaires, says Wealth-X, six of the 10 countries outperformed the region.
The UK was the only top 10 country to experience both a decline in billionaire numbers and a fall in their net wealth.
Just 10 super rich billionaires
“In 2017 the world’s billionaires represented 1.1% of the global ultra-high net worth population but held about 29% of their combined wealth, up from 25% in 2016. That said, wealth distribution among the billionaire class was also highly skewed,” said the report.
“Just over half of the global billionaire population resided in the ‘lowest’ wealth tier with a net worth of $1 billion to $2 billion, below the average billionaire wealth of $3.3 billion -up from $3.1bn in 2016. Just over half of total billionaire wealth was held by the richest 15% of billionaires, each with a net worth of at least $5 billion.”
Only 10 super rich people worldwide have fortunes of more than $50 billion, while the bottom tier of billionaires with a net worth between $1 billion and $2 billion has 1,384 members.