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Billionaire Wealth Grew by 5.6% in 2015

August 11, 2016

A total of 2,473 billionaires now hold a combined total of $7.7 trillion, according to the 2015­-2016 census of billionaires by Wealth­X, a consulting firm.

That’s a 6.4% rise in the number of billionaires and a 5.6% rise in total billionaire wealth from WealthX’s 2013-2014 census.

Five billionaires have over $50 billion each, 33 billionaires sit on $25 billion to $50 billion each and the rest control the remaining billionaire wealth, according to Wealth­X’s most recent census.

Most billionaires (32.6%) are in Europe, and Asia is now home to 645 billionaires, or 26.1% of billionaires worldwide. North America has 628 billionaires (25.4% of the world’s billionaire population).

But billionaire money is still concentrated in North America, with billionaires here controlling $2,561 billion, compared to $1,686 billion in Asia and $2,330 billion in Europe, according to WealthX’s latest survey.

The census also found that 56% of billionaires are self-made, 13% got their wealth from inheritance and 31% did a bit of both. In addition, the census shows billionaires prefer private holdings for investing, with 46% of their assets invested in the area, followed by public holdings, which account for 28.1% of billionaire assets, and cash, which represents 22.2% of their assets.

Real estate and luxury assets account for just 3.7% of billionaire wealth, according to the report.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the WealthX article cited in this story, click here.