Visualized: The World’s Billionaire Population
The world’s billionaires—only 3,311 individuals—represent almost $11.8 trillion in wealth. The global billionaire population continued to grow in 2021, increasing by 3%. Over the same period, billionaire wealth also increased by 18% .
This map uses data from the Wealth-X Billionaire Census to visualize where the world’s billionaires live and breaks down their collective wealth.
Note on methodology: The report uses proprietary data from Wealth-X. Billionaire status is determined by assessing an individual’s total net worth, including publicly and privately held businesses and investable assets. To determine a billionaire’s location, Wealth-X used their primary business address.
Billionaires by Region
We’ll begin by zooming out to look at how various continents and world regions rank in terms of their billionaire population.
North America is home to most billionaires, worth $4.6 trillion . The U.S., unsurprisingly, accounts for the majority of this wealth, with 975 billionaires and a collective net worth of $4.45 trillion.
|Rank||Region||Number of billionaires||Collective Billionaire Wealth|
|#1||North America||1,035||$4.6 trillion|
|#4||Middle East||191||$519 billion|
|#5||Latin America and the Caribbean||146||$465 billion|
In regional terms, Europe’s billionaire wealth is growing the fastest, up 22% year-over-year in 2021. In contrast, the year-over-year change in the Middle East was -12.5%.
Asia is inching towards Europe, holding almost a quarter of all billionaire wealth worldwide, compared to Europe’s 26.5%.
Wealth in Africa will also be important to watch in coming years. Although only home to 46 billionaires currently, the change in billionaire wealth increased by almost 17% year-over-year. Additionally, while they no longer live there, a number of the world’s billionaires hail from African countries originally.
Billionaires by Country
Now, let’s look at the ranking broken down by the top 15 countries:
|Rank||Country||Number of Billionaires||Collective Billionaire Wealth|
|#1||🇺🇸 US||975||$4.45 trillion|
|#2||🇨🇳 China||400||$1.45 trillion|
|#3||🇩🇪 Germany||176||$602 billion|
|#4||🇮🇳 India||124||$384 billion|
|#5||🇬🇧 UK||120||$266 billion|
|#6||🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR||114||$287 billion|
|#7||🇨🇭 Switzerland||111||$365 billion|
|#8||🇷🇺 Russia||107||$475 billion|
|#9||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||71||$192 billion|
|#10||🇫🇷 France||68||$294 billion|
|#11||🇮🇹 Italy||68||$207 billion|
|#12||🇨🇦 Canada||60||$131 billion|
|#13||🇧🇷 Brazil||52||$159 billion|
|#14||🇸🇬 Singapore||50||$99 billion|
|#15||🇦🇪 UAE||45||$181 billion|
China is an obvious second in billionaire wealth to the United States, with famous billionaires like Zhang Yiming ( $44.5 billion ) of TikTok and Zhong Shanshan ( $67.1 billion ), whose wealth primarily comes from the pharmaceutical and beverages industries.
That said, Chinese billionaire wealth actually decreased 2% last year. It was India that came out on top in terms of growth, seeing a 19% increase in 2021.
Billionaires by City
Looking at cities, New York is home to the most billionaires—with 13 added billionaire residents last year—followed by Hong Kong.
|Rank||City||Country||Number of Billionaires|
|#1||New York City||🇺🇸 U.S.||138|
|#2||Hong Kong||🇭🇰 China||114|
|#3||San Francisco||🇺🇸 U.S.||85|
|#7||Los Angeles||🇺🇸 U.S.||59|
|#13||São Paulo||🇧🇷 Brazil||34|
Billionaire Wealth in 2022
Billionaires have significant power and influence, not in the least because their collective wealth is equivalent to about 11.8% of global GDP .
In recent billionaire news, Gautam Adani’s wealth has been soaring, most recently hitting the $145 billion mark, making him the third-richest person in the world according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. However, not all billionaires are holding on to their wealth. Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, recently transferred ownership of his company to an organization that fights climate change.
Over the last decade, billionaires have been grown their fortunes considerably, with wealth increasing at a faster rate than the growth in the number of billionaires themselves. According to Wealth-X, collective billionaire net worth grew by an astonishing 90% in the last 10 years.
But in the shorter term, the situation is often more volatile. With markets reeling in 2022, Bloomberg reported that billionaires lost a record $1.4 trillion over the first half of the year. Once the year is over and the final numbers are in, it will be interesting to see how the billionaire landscape shapes up in comparison to the more long-term trend.
Ranked: Who Are the Richest People in Africa?
This infographic ranks the wealthiest 15 billionaires on the African continent.
Ranked: Who Are the Richest People in Africa?
The African continent is home to 46 billionaires, the second-lowest total of any global region.
The number of wealthy individuals in Africa is growing, however. Total private wealth is expected to rise 30% over the next decade, led by growth in the billionaire and millionaire segments.
Visualized here are Africa’s richest, using data collected by Forbes , on billionaires who reside on the continent and have their primary business there.
Breaking Down Africa’s Billionaires
The richest man in Africa is also the richest Black man in the world. Once a small sugar trader, Aliko Dangote now has a net worth of $13.5 billion. He is the 86th richest person in the world, and single-handedly makes up 25% of the total wealth of African billionaires.
His company, the Dangote Group is now an African conglomerate with interests in a range of sectors, including sugar, cement, and real estate.
|Rank||Name||Net Worth (billions, USD)||Industry||Citizenship|
|1||Aliko Dangote||$13.5||Manufacturing||🇳🇬 Nigeria|
|2||Johann Rupert & family||$10.7||Fashion & Retail||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|3||Nicky Oppenheimer & family||$8.4||Metals & mining||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|4||Abdulsamad Rabiu||$7.6||Diversified||🇳🇬 Nigeria|
|5||Nassef Sawiris||$7.3||Construction & Engineering||🇪🇬 Egypt|
|6||Mike Adenuga||$6.3||Diversified||🇳🇬 Nigeria|
|7||Issad Rebrab & family||$4.6||Food & Beverage||🇩🇿 Algeria|
|8||Naguib Sawiris||$3.3||Telecom||🇪🇬 Egypt|
|9||Patrice Motsepe||$3.2||Metals & mining||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|10||Mohamed Mansour||$2.9||Diversified||🇪🇬 Egypt|
|11||Koos Bekker||$2.6||Media & Entertainment||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|12||Strive Masiyiwa||$1.9||Telecom||🇿🇼 Zimbabwe|
|13||Mohammed Dewji||$1.5||Diversified||🇹🇿 Tanzania|
|13||Aziz Akhannouch & family||$1.5||Diversified||🇲🇦 Morocco|
|13||Youssef Mansour||$1.5||Diversified||🇪🇬 Egypt|
The top three—Alike Dangote, Johann Rupert, and Nicky Oppenheimer—account for 40% of the total wealth of those ranked.
A Look Through the Rest of the Richest People in Africa
At number two on the list is Johann Rupert . The chairman of Swiss luxury goods company, Compagnie Financiere Richemont, started his career with a banking apprenticeship in New York, before returning to South Africa and eventually pivoting to retail.
Through the rest of those ranked, a range of diverse business activities have allowed these billionaires to garner their wealth.
Nicky Oppenheimer (3rd) and Patrice Motsepe (9th)—have made fortunes in the mining industry, a sector which contributes nearly 10% to sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP. Meanwhile, Naguib Sawiris (8th) and Strive Masiyiwa (12th) have built telecom empires.
Billionaire Wealth Mirrors Country Wealth
Only seven out of the 54 African countries are represented on Africa’s rich list, and even amongst them, three countries (Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria) account for more than two-thirds of the top-ranked billionaires.
|Country||Rank in African Economy||Individuals on Top 15 Billionaire List|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||#2||4|
The home countries for these billionaires reflects the nations’ contribution to the African economy as a whole. Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt have the top three GDPs in Africa.
Algeria—where Issad Rebrab (7th) is from—is ranked fourth, and Morocco—where Aziz Akhannouch (13th) is based—is fifth.
What’s Next For Africa’s Richest?
Africa has routinely been touted to become a future economic powerhouse as its demographic dividend pays off in the next few decades. However, its biggest challenge will be developing its economic and social infrastructure to retain local talent to make their fortunes at home.
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