South Africa’s billionaires revealed

New research reveals that South Africa’s population of nine US dollar billionaires has an accumulated wealth of $30 billion, up from $25 billion just a year ago.

The inaugural Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, found that the global billionaire population reached a record 2,170 individuals in 2013, with a combined net worth of $6.5 trillion.

The report also shows that 810 individuals became billionaires since the 2009 global financial crisis.

South Africa ranks 41st on the global list of billionaires, and is behind Egypt in Africa, with the North African country featuring at 26 on the list.

Africa billionaires
Africa billionaires

Egypt boasts 19 billionaires, at a total wealth of $32 billion, with Nigeria third in Africa with seven billionaires and a total wealth of $20 billion.

Although Egypt has the largest number of billionaires in the region, the average net worth of South African billionaires is nearly double that of Egyptian billionaires, at US$3.3 billion, as compared to Egypt’s US$1.7 billion.

According to Wealth-X and UBS, Africa’s billionaire population is at 42, with a net worth of $101 billion. The report found that 48% of those individuals were self made, against 45% for those billionaires in SA. 22% of South Africa’s billionaires were as a result of inheritance.

The average age for Africa’s billionaires is 65, against 63 in South Africa, with 89% being male in the Southern African country.

The most significant industry for billionaires in South Africa was finance, banking and investment (22%), with metals and mining (22%), and real estate (11%) also prominent.

Globally, the US, with 515 billionaires is far ahead of the pack, and is followed by China, with 157 billionaires, with Germany (148), the UK (135). and Russia (108) rounding out the top five countries.

Global billionaires
Global billionaires

Additional key global findings from the report:

  • The global billionaire population rose by 0.5% and their total wealth increased by 5.3% in the past year.
  • Europe is home to the most billionaires (766 individuals). However, North America has the most billionaire wealth (US$2,158 billion).
  • Asia contributed the largest number of new billionaires (18) this year, followed by North America (11).
  • As of 2013, the average net worth of the world’s billionaires is US$3 billion.
  • Globally, there are 111 individuals who each have a net worth that exceeds US$10 billion. Their combined net worth is over US$1.9 trillion, greater than the GDP of Canada.
  • Despite popular notions of billionaires being jet-setting, cosmopolitan individuals, most billionaires are still based in the same locations where they were raised.
  • 60% of billionaires are self-made, while 40% inherited their wealth or grew their fortunes from inheritance.
  • Only 17% of female billionaires are self-made, while 71% gained their fortunes through inheritance.

More on the world’s wealthiest

Racial spread of SA millionaires

SA dollar millionaires decline

SA home to most millionaires in Africa

How SA millionaires get rich

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South Africa’s billionaires revealed