The number of billionaires in the world has reached a record 2,816 and are worth a record $11.2 trillion in total – more than the GDP of every country except for the US and China.
An extra 346 people are on the list this year – including MacKenzie Bezos following her divorce last year from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, 56, who retained the title of world’s richest man.
The billionaires’ total wealth – based on their net worth on January 31 this year – has increased 16 per cent over the past year, according to the Hurun Global Rich List 2020 released on Wednesday.
There are 479 new billionaires this year while 130 dropped off, 16 of whom died.
The increase is largely down to the boom in the tech industry and rising stock markets.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, 35, with $84 billion, Google founders Sergey Brin, 46, with $68 billion and Larry Page, 46, with $67 billion and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, 63, with $67 billion are all in the top ten.
Jeff Bezos, 56, who retained the title of world’s richest man with a net worth of $140 billion
Bezos was joined in the billionaires’ club by his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos after she received approximately 19.7 million Amazon.com shares in their divorce settlement last year
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, 35, with $84 billion, is the youngest billionaire in the top ten
‘A boom in tech valuations and strong stock markets across the U.S., India, and China propelled the billionaires to record heights,’ Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Research Institute, said in the report.
China has the most billionaires with 799 which outnumbers the U.S.’s record billionaire population of 626.
China, Hong Kong and Taiwan created 182 new billionaires with fortunes made in drugs and online entertainment after a mini-boom from the coronavirus outbreak.
The US created 59 new billionaires.
China and the US have more than half of all global billionaires, followed by India, Germany, and the UK who each boast over 100 billionaires.
Seven of the top 10 billionaires are Americans and none are Chinese. Jack Ma, China’s richest man with $45 billion, is in 21st place.
Jeff Bezos has been the richest man in the world for three consecutive years and has a net worth of $140 billion.
But his ex-wife, Mackenzie, made it to the list for the first time with $44 billion in 22nd place.
The couple finalized their divorce in July last year to the tune of a $38-billion settlement. Under the agreement, MacKenzie received approximately 19.7 million Amazon.com shares, giving her a four per cent stake in the company that was valued at $38.3 billion at the time.
Bill Gates, 64, and Warren Buffett, 89, occupied the third and fourth places on the list, both with a net worth above $100 billion.
Technology was the primary source of wealth for 12.7% of billionaires, followed by real estate (9.6%), manufacturing (8.7%), and investment (8.6%).
China’s stock markets rallied 14% compared to January 2019, despite the coronavirus outbreak causing a slump on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
During the same period, the Nasdaq gained 26% and India’s stock markets rose 15%, according to the report.
Jeff Bezos has been the world’s richest man for three consecutive years
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is the third richest man in the world
The second richest man in the world is Bernard Arnault, 70, chairman and chief executive of the French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy with a net worth of $107 billion.
Spain’s Armancio Ortega, 83, owner of fashion company Zara and who has a net worth $81 billion, and Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helú, 80, with $72 billion are also in the top ten.
Beijing has the largest number of billionaires at 110 and New York has the second most with 98.
There are 90 billionaires under the age of 40 and the youngest self-made billionaire was US cosmetic queen Kylie Jenner, 22, who is worth $1.1 billion.
US President Donald Trump ranks 900th on the list with a net worth of $3 billion.
Women make up just 15.7% of the world’s billionaires the list with the richest being Alice Walton, 70, of Walmart, who is worth $59 billion.