Billionaire Wealth Grew by 5.6% in 2015
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.