Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the ultra-wealthy, recently released its annual billionaire census, which explores the trends and habits of the world’s richest people.
The report indicates that there are 2,473 total billionaires in the world, representing a combined wealth of US$7.7 trillion. These figures illustrate a 6.4% and 5.4% increase since 2014, respectively.
Wealth-X defines UHNW individuals as having at least US$30 million in personal wealth (net worth) and billionaires as having a net worth of US$1 billion or greater.
While there is only one billionaire for every 2.95 million people on the planet, their wealth has a tremendous impact on the global economy.
In 2015, billionaires controlled 3.9% of the world’s total household wealth. While this figure is slightly down from 2014.
Male billionaires continue to represent the majority – 140 of the 148 new billionaire additions in 2015 were male, 17.5 times more than women.
Billionaires with partially inherited wealth continue to be the fastest growing segment of this population, responsible for nearly two thirds of total billionaire additions and a 29.9% increase from 2014.
Achieving billionaire status often requires more than just inheritance; 87% of billionaires made the majority of their fortunes themselves, up from 81% in 2014.
While finance, banking and investment remains the leading industry for billionaires, a subtle shift continues to grow – the number of billionaires in these fields decreased by 5.5% while their wealth decreased by 6.6%
Industrial conglomerates continue to edge to the top spot with the insurance, retail, diversified financial services, business services and IT services sectors all seeing significant billionaire growth.
Philanthropy is the primary passion amongst global billionaires, with more than 56% of total billionaires either undertaking or interested in pursuing philanthropic activities.
The second and third most popular interests are travel and art: 31% of today’s billionaires report travel as a passion, while 29% report art.
Top 20 most common hobbies of the world’s super rich
|4||Fashion and style||25.2%|
|6||Wine and spirits||15.9%|
|8||Health and exercise||14.8%|