Billionaire wealth tops $7 trillion
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, September 22, 2014
The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires now exceeds the collective market capitalization of all the companies in the Dow Jones industrial average, according to a recent study.
The Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census found that the number of billionaires around the world increased by 155, to total 2,325. Their wealth grew by 12 percent in 2014, to reach a record $7.3 trillion.
Where is the money?
Europe is home to the highest number of billionaires and the most billionaire wealth. The region counts 775 among its ranks of super-rich and they possess a combined $2.37 trillion.
But among individual countries, the U.S. can claim the most billionaires, with 571 in 2014. It’s trailed by China with 190, and the United Kingdom with 130.
The real story is Asia, however, which is the fastest-growing region in terms of wealth. Over the past year, wealth grew by 18.7 percent, or 30 percent of the net increase in global billionaire wealth. The population of super-rich shot up by 10 percent, with 52 newly minted billionaires, 33 of them from China.
Who are these people?
The average age of the global billionaire is 63 and more than a third of them live in just 20 cities around the globe. According to the study, they typically move from city to city, rather than country to country.
Among this tiny population, 2,039 are men, representing 87.7 percent of the total number of billionaires. There are 286 women billionaires, making up just over 12 percent of the total.
While the survey reveals the rich are getting richer, the middle class is still trying to hang in there. Bankrate conducted an analysis of the income gap over the past 20 years and found that those entering their prime earning years are falling behind.
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