The rich keep getting richer. There are 3,228 billionaires in the world, up from 414 last year. Despite coronavirus, total wealth of billionaires rose $3.5 trillion or 32% to $14.7 trillion, according to the Hurun list. Asia accounts for 51% of the worldâ€™s billionaires, and 45% of their wealth, compared with North America with 24% of the billionaires and 33% of the wealth.
To see it in context, the world added 412 billionaires in 2020 i.e. roughly 8 billionaires a week or 1 billionaire a day. As many as 2,312 billionaires saw their wealth increase, of which 610 were new faces. 635 saw their wealth decrease, and there were 194 drop-offs. 32 billionaires died. 282 saw their wealth stay the same. The average age of a billionaire is 65.
Led by Mukesh Ambani ($83 billion) India now has 209 billionaires, of which 177 live in India, compared with 689 in the US. India last year added billionaires at a similar rate to the US, 50 compared with 69. China has pulled away from the US, leading with 1058 billionaires, compared with 696 US billionaires. China and the US make up over half of ‘known’ billionaires in the world. India is third with 177, up 40. Germany, UK and Switzerland follow with 100+ each.
China dominated With 66% of the worldâ€™s self-made women billionaires, led by Zhong Huijuan, 60, of drug-maker Hansoh With $23 billion. Richest woman in the world is Alice Walton, 71, of Walmart, With $74 billion.
In terms of the richest, Elon Musk of Tesla added a record $151 billion to become richest man in the world for first time, with $197 billion. Jeff Bezos, last year’s richest man, came in second with $189 billion, despite adding $49 billion. Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg were in third, fourth, and fifth places with $114 billion, $110 billion, and $101 billion. Warren Buffet is sixth ($91 billion), YST’s Zhong Shashan ($85 billion) is seventh, Ambani is eighth, Steve Balmer is ninth ($83 billion) and Hermes’ Bertrand Puech & family is tenth ($80 billion).
California-based Austin Russell, at 25 years, of car sensor maker Luminar Technologies is the youngest self-made billionaire with $3.5 billion, followed by UK-based Benjamin Francis ($1.1 billion) of Gymshark, HK-based Sam Bankman-fried ($10 billion) of Blockchain Platform Ftx, as Well as Andy Fang ($2.8 billion) and Stanley Tang ($2.8 billion) of US food delivery platform Doordash, all 28 years.
Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said, â€œDespite the disruption caused by Covid-19, this year has seen the biggest wealth increase of the last decade. A stock market boom, driven partly by quantitative easing, and flurry of new listings have minted eight new dollar billionaires a week for the past year. The world has never seen this much wealth created in just one year, much more than perhaps could have been expected for a year so badly disrupted by Covid-19.â€
The speed of wealth creation is nothing short of staggering. Three individuals added more than $50 billion in a single year, led by Elon Musk with $151 billion, whilst e-commerce billionaires Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Colin Huang of Pinduoduo added $50 billion each.