Daily Management Review

Wealth-X: most of the world's billionaires are self-made


Combined wealth of the world's billionaires grew to nearly $ 7.7 trillion, as estimated by Wealth-X experts. Mostly, billionaires live in Europe, and their number is fastest-growing in Asia.

Jo Jakeman
Jo Jakeman
The number of people with a fortune of $ 1 billion or more grew by 6.4% in 2015. Now, there are 2473 of them, reports Wealth-X. At the end of 2015, their total state was estimated at $ 7.683 trillion, which is an absolute record for the time of reporting.

Compared with the previous year, the total capital of billionaires grew by 5.4%, and exceeded GDP of all countries of the world, except for the US and China.

According to Wealth-X, number of Asian billionaires has increased by 15.2%, which is almost five times higher than the rate of growth in North America. As a result, Asia is the second-largest in terms of population whose capital exceeds $ 1 billion. The total number of billionaires in the region has grown to 645 people compared to 628 in North America.

The leader in the number of billionaires is still Europe (806), yet combined wealth of the rich locals decreased in 2015 (by 1.9%), while the overall state of billionaires from North America, Asia and the Middle East increased (by 8%, 19.6 % and 9%, respectively). By the end of 2015, the richest North Americans had under the control $ 2.561 trillion, which is exactly one-third of the world's billionaires’ capital. Share of their European competitors amounted to approximately 30.33% ($ 2.33 trillion), Asian - 21.95% ($ 1.686 trillion).

According to Wealth-X, 56% of the members of this "club" entered it through their own efforts. Analysts estimate combined capital of 1372 self-made billionaires (for the year their number increased by 7%) at $ 4.34 trillion. Other 778 people (31%, $ 2.301 trillion) inherited their start-up capital, yet they still broke in the moneybags club by themselves. Only 13% of its present participants - 323 people with a total capital of $ 1.042 trillion – fully inherited a capital counted in billions. 

Most billionaires made their money in the financial sector (15.2%), while percentage of people from the industry accounts for only 4.9%.

According to Wealth-X, wealth of most (1288 of 2473) modern billionaires does not exceed $ 2 billion. A capital of $ 2-5 billion is owned by 813 people, and a fortune of $ 5 - 10 billion belongs to 224 persons. 110 people hold from $ 10 billion to $ 25 billion. At the top of the pyramid are owners of $ 25-50 billion – worth capital (33 people). There are just five persons that own over $ 50 billion. As calculated by Wealth-X, they together control the capital of $ 323 billion worldwide. 

source: wsj.com

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