Forbes’ richest people list

I read last week that Forbes had published its list of billionaires and the world’s richest people… and I couldn’t stop myself taking a quick peek.

Partly out of curiosity and partly out of the primitive instinct of jealousy, I clicked through to the page1 to learn that there are currently 2,153 billionaires on the planet. What shocked me most, however, was the fact that this was seen to be a mini-crisis.

Eye-boggling statistics

According to Forbes, there are 55 fewer billionaires now than in 2018 and almost half of the total number of these ultra-rich individuals (46%, to be precise) are “poorer” than they were last year.

Money, money, money. Where do the world’s richest people live?

The world leader for mega-rich individuals is, by far and away, the USA, whose 607 billionaires – yes, 607 – have a combined wealth of $3,111 billion (€2,766 billion or £2,393 billion). The USA’s dominance is such that 14 of the 20 richest people on earth are from the States.

China has 324 billionaires in 2019, who have an estimated collective wealth of $980.7 billion (€872 billion or £754.4 billion), ranking it second in Forbes’ list.

Rounding out the top three countries where the ultra-rich reside is Germany, whose 114 billionaires have amassed a fortune of $500.9 billion (€445.4 billion or £385.2 billion) between them.

Both in terms of the number of billionaires and their fortunes, the USA outdoes Germany – the third-ranked country for ultra-rich individuals – by a ratio of roughly 6:1.

Almost 43,000 more UHNWI in next 4 years

An article published in The Guardian last week2 suggested that, by the year 2023, approximately 42,700 further ultra-high net worth individuals will be created. This wealth category, conveniently abbreviated to UHNWI, is defined as those with a personal fortune of at least $30 million (£22.7 million or €26.2 million).

This figure is higher than the number of London Marathon runners expected to finish the race on 28th April and more or less the capacity of Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge stadium in London3.

The projected increase will see the total number of UHNWIs swell to over 240,000 in the next four years, which is yet another staggering statistic related to, on the one hand, wealth generation and, more worryingly, the ever-growing chasm between the rich and the poor.

So, where do the world’s richest people live?

Well, the answer is clearly – and rather inevitably – the United States of America. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett head up the list, while Spanish retail king and owner of Inditex Amancio Ortega comes in at number six.

However, if we go down a notch to the distribution of UHNWIs across the globe, the highest concentration of super-rich individuals is actually not in the US. The top five home cities of UHNWIs in 2023 are predicted to be London, Singapore and Tokyo, then New York and Beijing.

If, like me, you're not quite amongst the world's richest people yet, check out our Money Matters page for more info related to living on the Costa del Sol, banking, taxes, and much more... And if you liked the blog, leave me a comment below and sign up to receive future updates!





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