The world’s wealthiest individuals are on a roll with billionaires in Asia leading the pack.
Billionaire wealth increased 17 percent to $6 trillion in 2016, after a decline the previous year, UBS AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a report issued Thursday. Led by China, the number of the region’s billionaires surpassed the U.S. for the first time.
But don’t shed a tear for the richest folks in the U.S.: American billionaires still control the most wealth at $2.8 trillion.
Asia’s economic expansion saw, on average, a new billionaire created in the region every other day. Should that pace continue, Asia would overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest concentration of wealth in four years, the Swiss bank and the auditing firm said in an analysis of data from roughly 1,550 billionaires.
Three-quarters of the world’s new billionaires hail from China and India. The number of Asia billionaires rose by 117 for a total of 637, with self-made billionaires seeing their wealth rise faster than those who became rich through family ties. The U.S. added 25 billionaires for a total of 563.
The world’s 500 richest people have added $824 billion so far this year, an increase of 19 percent, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Their total net worth is estimated at $5.2 trillion as of Oct. 25.
Among the world’s top 200 art collectors, almost three-quarters were billionaires in 2016, up from 28 in 1995. A Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, was the buyer of this year’s most expensive artwork at auction, a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat for $110.5 million.
More than 140 top sports clubs around the world are owned by 109 billionaires, who are on average 68 years old with a wealth of $5 billion, according to the survey.
(c) 2017, Bloomberg · Katya Kazakina, Patrick Winters