Billionaire Wealth Doubles Since Financial Crisis: Report
Billionaire Wealth Doubles Since Financial Crisis: Report

Billionaire wealth has doubled in the past four years since the financial crisis, says a report from Wealth-X. The combined wealth of billionaires has doubled from $3.1 trillion to $6.5 trillion. 

The total wealth of the world’s billionaires is larger than any country on Earth except the United States and China, reported CNBC.

The number of billionaires also grew from 810 to 2,170. The vast majority are male entrepreneurs with around 60 percent being self-made; around 20 percent inherited all their fortune, while another 20 percent inherited part of it.

The wealthiest of the billionaires–Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Amancio Ortega, and Warren Buffet–are all self-made. And China has the most self-made billionaires at 89 percent.

Some 87 percent of the world’s billionaires are male, while 17 percent of the women on the list were self-made, as most gained their fortune via inheritance.

On average, each billionaire is 67 years old, male, and worth around $3 billion–with about 18 percent liquid assets.

However, marriage plays a key role, the report found. “Spouses often play a pivotal role in the success of their partners,” it said.

Unsurprisingly, New York City has the most billionaires with 96.

Hong Kong, Moscow, London and Mumbai are next on the list, according to Foreign Policy. The United States has the most billionaires at 515.

Billionaires’ passions include art, aviation, real estate, traveling, and playing golf.

Average billionaires spend $22 million on yachts, some $16 million on private planes, and around $14 million on art, CNBC reported.

  • D.j. Riddle

    I think I have an idea about where everyone else’s money went…

    • Michael Anthony Maney

      People need to quit spending money….. saving money is more important…

      • D.j. Riddle

        How so? Does saving money put food on the table? Does it put gas in your car to get you to work? Does it put a roof over your head? No, no, no. If you have money left over, yes, save it. The problem is that people for the most part do not have enough money to make their bills and make their obligations and have anything left to save while a tiny fraction of the world spend every waking minute taking money from every place they can just to have more than they can ever need. Half of America is at the poverty level and that section of the population is growing while the rich keep getting richer… If you don’t see it for the problem it really is, then you obviously aren’t looking at reality.

        • Michael Anthony Maney

          Im looking at reality. The majority of Americans spend their money in fact we have a deficiet in saving. You can say what you want but the truth is you need to learn to save your money.

          • D.j. Riddle

            You have no argument apparently, just rhetoric. If people don’t have enough to get by then what part of that not enough are they going to put away? Half of America is currently at or near poverty and you’re proclaiming ‘let them eat cake.’

  • rflippin

    The Dumb get smarter and the smart get dumber… What does that tell us about our educational system? How many smart parents spend money on dumb liberal arts degrees (or similar) and how many dumb parents spend money on wealth building? (OH REALLY) Hahaha what a joke! Wake up people your industrial era institutions are failing us! Dont waist your $$$$$$ on these state sponsored and private institutions (Universities) they only teach you how to get a job, and climb the corporate bladder(and get pissed on on the way up. Are you paying your taxes??? How has it benefited your family? Oh, and you are in debt to Professor Jack Ass? Well at least your educated…Lets Teach our children how to LEAD not FOLLOW.

  • rflippin

    The Dumb get smart and the Smart get dumb hahaha now your educated. We spent $$$$$ on our dumb degree and we learned how to pay taxes while getting pissed on while climbing the corporate ladder. Bow your head to professor Jack-Ass. He taught us well…

    • Jason Halstead

      well said brother

  • Jason Halstead

    pretty sure being broke wont make ’em happy like you. all the things you enjoy today is because of the 1%ers and think about what else they are going to create I applaud all the billionaires because of the way they think!

    • Maria V. Munoz

      You need your head examined. There’s no financial crisis. There’s a greed crisis which will cost you and all of these people their souls.

      • Hard Boiled

        Actually, you are the one who is greedy. you look at rich people and wish you had what they did, instead fo being happy with what you have. if you are so concerned with other people being poor, vote in a president who will bring some jobs. Romney planned on doing that, but you have more lazy people on food stamps, that crapped themselves of the thought of losing their career as welfare beggars. Romney has companies in China who want to come here, they just want a tax break. it would have brought over million jobs. Better the Chinese have those jobs eh?

        • Jimbo0117

          Seriously? Mitt Romney was they guy who was going to help the poor get jobs? Do you have any idea who Mitt Romney is, what he represents, and how he proposed to accomplish growth?

      • Jason Halstead

        I would like to talk to you face to face aren’t you excited about the new things that billionaires create?!?! like cellphones and networks that will always have connection even in the middle desert/? they don’t just sit around drinking beer and watch Oprah they do extraordinary things w/ their money

        • Danny

          Oh hush it. It’s not the billionaires that magically creating those things. There are thousands of people who contribute to the world technological advances. This is flawed reasoning and just another supporter for super elites that create artificial recessions to absorb the wealth of the common people. Check your history books, people are praising their oppressors like they are god.

          • iprimeone

            Exactly, too many sheeple in the world. Education is key.

        • randy schaefer

          cant really say i am excited about it after all how much more cell phone and gadgets does one need they could make life better in other ways like creating cures for incureable disease such as cancer among many others now would that not be money well spent and they would still get rich for making peoples lives better rather than useless gadgets

        • randy schaefer

          i would like to talk to you as well but it don’t seem like we are on the same page as far as networks and gadgets what good are they if people are dying of incureable disease;s not much good if there are not any people left to use those gsdges

    • randy schaefer

      oh and by the way i am not broke like you might be i own my own business

  • Baron

    The main difference between the rich and poor is that the rich are producers and the poor are consumers. A producer understands what money can do, a consumer only knows money buys stuff. And I make a distinction between people who make a lot of money and people who are “paid” a lot of money. Entertainers, professional athletes, and the like are all paid employees and consumers so you often here about them going broke no different from the average person except they get paid a lot more. Producers like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, and so on spend money, of course, but most of their time is spend producing products and services that consumers buy and that is why they are rich and will always be rich. You want to be rich? Become a producer people, it’s much easier than you can imagine.

    • iprimeone

      I don’t believe that the rich really “produce” anything. More likely they may have had some social contacts that gained them influence, were smart enough the find some opportunity, had other people working on their ideas, and other people actually physically producing the product. No person is an island. There are huge logistics involved in getting anything to market and the chances of and idea/product being successful almost certainly rests on the social contacts, people advising the person and the people actually producing (building) the product. The rich person’s ability to find social contacts, advisement, and people who build the products (whatever that is) increases with their wealth. I’m sure there are exceptions because their always are, but I think that’s a pretty accurate way to look at the extremely wealthy and their success. I’d advance the idea that if you gave anyone with a decent amount of intelligence the right conditions and resources, they could be successful too. I think the extremely wealthy do have an inordinate amount of wealth for the actual role that they play in the process of production. The world would be just fine without their having so much wealth. Their not being wealthy and having so much influence would just give others the chance to be successful, probably allowing better ideas to be advanced in the process.

      • Baron

        You don’t believe that the rich produce anything? Really? Nearly everything in your house is a product that you, the consumer, bought from some company. The rich don’t produce anything? Come on, that’s just silly talk. If I write an email application for Windows that blows the doors off anything out there, and I get ridiculously rich off that “product”, it’s a fluke? There are individuals who have created products that have made them billionaires almost overnight, starting with nothing, no social contacts, no logistics, and only fools believe in luck. There are so many ways to become wealthy in this country, but believing it can’t be done isn’t one of them. And how is someone else having a lot money preventing me from making a lot of money? How is their wealth preventing me from creating something new that people want or taking an old idea and improving on it to make money? These are excuses that the poor are trained to believe and it keeps them poor because they won’t even try to do better. I know I can’t convince you of what I’m saying, but I hate hearing people like you say stuff like that because you don’t see the opportunities that are out there. But that is one of the reasons the very wealthy are only 3% of the population. Now I’m not one of the 3% but I’m working on it.

        • Ian Sean

          An actual freed market is not a zero-sum game. But we’ve had a centrally planned economy for a century now in the USA, at least — you could really argue ever since a corporation got any special privilege. Even a no-bid contract. Most wealth lately seems to come more from political connection than innovation or great management. If we ever get separation of shop and state, your arguments will become valid.

        • iprimeone

          I’m particularly interested in the role that they play in production of goods and whether their ideas are better than the other person’s. Do you really think that their ideas are that much better than other people’s or that they as humans are that much better? Let’s look at the percentage of humanity that they actually represent. The percentage of people who are billionaires is (1.426 thousand / 7.124 billion)*100 = 0.00002%. Hmmm. Pretty small percentage, isn’t it? To put this into perspective the chance of being struck by lightening is (1 / 280 thousand)*100 = 0.00036%. You’d have a better chance of being struck my lightening than becoming a billionaire. Maybe luck does have some role in this equation then. Now, let’s really think about this. Do they actually spend their money or is the money taken from the corporate coffers or other outside sources? They may spend their money some of the time, but my inclination is to believe the latter two of the three choices. Are all billionaires self made? Well, I can easily point you to the Forbes website and you can pick out more than a handful that aren’t. Did they produce anything for the money they have? But hey, they weren’t lucky… right? Additionally, we’re not talking about simply being wealthy, but being ridiculously wealthy, beyond comprehension wealthy, like I’m buying a multi-million dollar yacht wealthy. I suppose all that I’m really arguing for is a more balanced distribution of wealth. I’m not for redistributing it by force but for those who run this artificial economic construct to see that it’s important to recognize the contributions that individuals make and pay them well for it. The distribution of wealth is lopsided as it is. That’s probably too much to ask for though. Usually course corrections like this only happen after there is a collapse. Oh well, billionaires should be pretty well insulated though :)

  • Satin

    Can U say, Indonesia slaves.

  • Satin

    Suyatmi, a shy, 20-year old factory worker, is too poor to know much about sneakers. She’s never heard of Bo Jackson and is too skinny to care about aerobics. Her world consists of a rented, 5-foot sqaure room in a shantytown where she sits on the concrete floor with three other young women. Every day a t 7 a.m., Suyatmi begins work at P.T. Hardaya Aneka Shoes Industry, one of six companies in Indonesia making shoes for Nike Inc., the spectacurly successful U.S. sporting goods company. Her production “line” of 30 workers produces 350 pairs of Nike’s glitzy footwear a day. Suyatmi and her co-workers earn a base salary of 1,900 Indonesian rupiahs a day, the equivalent of $1.15. Working a six-day week, with a least two hours of overtime each day, she takes home about $17 per week. The company also gives her lunch and a bus ride to work. “Some days it’s hard,” she said. “But I’m just happy to have a job.”

  • Andy Haraldson

    I don’t think the cause-and-effect relationship between wealth and intellect is as strong as people think. All wealthy people probably have above-average intelligence, but not all people with above-average intelligence are wealthy, so the acquisition of wealth obviously requires some other characteristic.

    Ultimately, the accumulation of such a large percentage of our productive output in the hands of so few is a sign of overall stupidity and a source of trouble. It is a sign that humanity is flawed, not a sign that a few people have greater ability.

    • D.j. Riddle

      If anything it has been shown that the vast majority of the super wealthy have psychological deficiencies in terms of empathy, selflessness, humility and long term and realistic valuation of themselves. Don’t forget that about 2% of the world’s population is psychotic, but only a very few of those people will ever be physically violent. Psychotic behavior can include ruining economies for personal wealth and starting illegal wars for personal glory. It’s certainly nothing new either…

  • Mavis Harris

    This is the age of the Phycopaths where personal gain at any cost rules. Amoral, ruthless without any empathy they casually destroy our planet, our future. This is clearly insane behavior. We need to wake up and reclaim our Democracy. Now.

  • trusake

    good for them, meanwhile my wealth undoubles

    • Kerry

      To be fair, my net value has doubled as well. I used to have $20 in savings, I now have $40. And it’s only taken me about 5 years to grow it that much!

  • seekeratt1

    Let me address a predictable reaction: The economy is NOT a zero sum game. That is to say that just because someone else is richer, that you are poorer. In fact, the opposite is often the case. That is to say that when entrepreneurs take risks and are successful, they carry people along with them who also get richer.
    Bill Gates, a Microsoft founder, is the world’s richest person. However, a lot of people, like Balfour who is a billionaire as well, got rich working at Microsoft. Buffett has made a herd of people very rich.
    BTW, both of these men are pretty much self-made. That is to say that they took advantage of the opportunities provided by living in America and got rich. Capitalism is the goose that lays the golden eggs.
    Obama’s policies that the “rich are not paying their fair share” are first of all pure B.S., but they also are an attempt to kill that goose. The government is not entrepreneurial. Obama’s policies have introduced a great deal of insecurity into the economy, so the rich who have money to take risks do not, which makes a lot of sense in what has become a hostile environment: Why take risks when the government will be the primary beneficiary. This government wants moe money so it can use the money to make more people dependent on them, and who will vote for them.
    Wake up, America!!!

    • bilejones


  • madmarkthelandshark

    OK – just typed a detailed, lengthy response to this – and when I “signed in” with “disqus” it was completely wiped out – disqus sucks.

  • iprimeone

    The percentage of the population that billionaries represent: (1.426 thousand / 7.124 billion)*100 = 0.00002%

  • bilejones

    so the thieves and looters do well, what a surprise.

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