Total wealth increased by a staggering 31% to $10.5 trillion, equivalent to 13.2% of global GDP, and almost double the 7% of global GDP six years ago.
The number of billionaires in the world grew by more than one a day in the last one year, while China produced four new billionaires every week, says a new study by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report, which has been ranking the rich in the world for the last seven years. Hurun Report on Wednesday released the Hurun Global Rich List 2018, a ranking of the US-dollar-billionaires in the world. Interestingly, India climbed back into the third spot, replacing Germany, with 131 billionaires. The Hurun Global Rich List 2018 ranked 2,694 billionaires from 68 countries and from 2,157 companies. Total wealth increased by a staggering 31% to $10.5 trillion, equivalent to 13.2% of global GDP, and almost double the 7% of global GDP six years ago. Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher, said, “Never has so much wealth been concentrated in the hands of so few. It has been an outstanding year for billionaires, 1,508 individuals in the list saw their wealth increase and there were 567 new faces.”
The Chinese are adding more billionaires than any other country and has managed to put the US behind for the third year running. “China has 819 billionaires compared with 571 in US. Just two years ago, they were neck and neck at 534 and 535. China is going through an amazing period of entrepreneurship, adding 210 billionaires in the past year,” Hoogewerf added. Beijing is the ‘Billionaire Capital of the World’ for the third year running, ahead of New York. Guangzhou added 16 billionaires to propel it into the Top 10. Jeff Bezos is at the top of the list with a wealth of $123 billion, a year-on-year growth of 71%. He is followed by 87-year-old Warren Buffett, with a 31% year-on-yea increase in his wealth, and becoming the second person ever to break through the $100 billion barrier. Bill Gates dropped down to third place this year. Last year Gates donated $4.6 billion worth of Microsoft shares to his foundation, his largest donation since 2000. Mark Zuckerberg is at the fourth position and saw his wealth grow 36% to $79 billion, on the back of a hike in Facebook’s share price. India stands third in the list of countries with the most number of billionaires, with 131 individuals who have wealth of more than $1 billion. Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher, Hurun Report India, said that the number would be 170 if Indian-origin billionaires were also considered.
Combined wealth of the Indian Billionaires increased by 49% year-on-year to $454 billion. Mumbai is the preferred hub for most Indian billionaires, followed by New Delhi. Thirty one billionaires migrated from India, with the UAE, the UK and the US as preferred destinations.
“India is now the third largest billionaire-creating country in the world. When India’s GDP touches $6 trillion by 2022, we expect the number of billionaires to at least double from the current number. The story of wealth creation in India talks about the modern businesses and new competition dynamics in India”, Junaid added.