In this article, we will analyze the population of the billionaires across the world. We will rank 38 countries as per the number of billionaires. We will also present the data for the billionaires as a percentage of total population in those countries. We have used the billionaire population data from ‘The Wealth Report 2019’ by Knight Frank (more details are provided at the bottom of the article).
This article is part of a series of articles analyzing the population of the wealthy people across the globe. This is our second article in that series. In our first article, we have presented an analysis of the global millionaire population. In our third article, we have presented an analysis of the global UHNWI (ultra-high net worth individuals) population.
Country-wise Data Availability
The Knight Frank wealth report provides the country-wise billionaire population data for the following 38 countries:
- North America: US, Canada
- Europe: Germany, UK, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Greece, Poland, Monaco, Romania
- Asia: Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam
- Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
- Middle East: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE
- Australasia: Australia, New Zealand
- Russia and CIS: Russia
- Africa: South Africa, Tanzania
We have analyzed and presented the data for these countries only in this article.
Number of Billionaires in the World
There were 2,229 billionaires in the world during 2018. The world total population was 7.5 billion in 2018. So, 0.00003% of the world total population are billionaires. The number of billionaires are expected to grow to 2,696 by 2023.
Asia is the home to more billionaires than North America or Europe. Here are the details of number of billionaires in 2018 across different regions: Asia - 787, North America - 631, Europe - 452, Russia & CIS - 113, Latin America - 89, Middle East - 89, Australasia - 45, and Africa - 23.
The share of Asia, of the world total billionaires, has increased substantially over the last five years. In 2013, North America had the highest number of billionaires. In 2018, number of billionaires in Asia were more than in North America. In 2023, the share of Asia is expected to increase further.
The charts for the global billionaire population by regions during 2013, 2018, and 2023 are as follows:
Number of Billionaires by the Country
The United States had 585 billionaires during 2018. This represents 26.2% of the total of 2,229 billionaires globally. China ranks second with 373 billionaires (16.7% of the world total). Germany ranks third with 123 billionaires. Together, these top-3 countries account for nearly half of the global billionaire population.
The chart below provides the billionaire population for 38 countries, along with their share of the world billionaires total population.
The data for the total number of billionaires in the different countries during 2018 is as follows: (1) United States - 585 (2) China - 373 (3) Germany - 123 (4) India - 119 (5) Russia - 101 (6) Hong Kong - 64 (7) United Kingdom - 54 (8) Canada - 46 (9) South Korea - 44 (10) Australia - 43 (11) Italy - 43 (12) France - 40 (13) Switzerland - 36 (14) Japan - 35 (15) Taiwan - 35 (16) Singapore - 33 (17) Sweden - 32 (18) Brazil - 31 (19) Thailand - 30 (20) Spain - 29 (21) Turkey - 29 (22) Indonesia - 20 (23) Mexico - 16 (24) Malaysia - 14 (25) Monaco - 12 (26) Philippines - 12 (27) Saudi Arabia - 10 (28) Argentina - 9 (29) Ireland - 9 (30) Austria - 8 (31) South Africa - 7 (32) UAE - 7 (33) Poland - 6 (34) Greece - 4 (35) Vietnam - 4 (36) New Zealand - 2 (37) Romania - 1 (38) Tanzania - 1
Billionaires Share of their Country’s Total Population
If we look at the number of billionaires as a percentage of the total population, Monaco ranks first. 0.03% of the Monaco total population are billionaires. Hong Kong ranks second. 0.0009% of the Hong Kong total population are billionaires. Singapore ranks third. 0.0006% of the Singapore total population are billionaires. The United States ranks seventh. 0.0002% of the US total population are billionaires.
The chart below provides the data for billionaires share of their country’s total population.
The country-wise data for the billionaires as a percentage of the total population is as follows: (1) Monaco - 0.03% (2) Hong Kong - 0.0009% (3) Singapore - 0.0006% (4) Switzerland - 0.0004% (5) Sweden - 0.0003% (6) Ireland - 0.0002% (7) United States - 0.0002% (8) Australia - 0.0002% (9) Germany - 0.0001% (10) Taiwan - 0.0001% (11) Canada - 0.0001% (12) Austria - 0.00009% (13) South Korea - 0.00009% (14) United Kingdom - 0.00008% (15) Italy - 0.00007% (16) Russia - 0.00007% (17) UAE - 0.00007% (18) Spain - 0.00006% (19) France - 0.00006% (20) Thailand - 0.00004% (21) Malaysia - 0.00004% (22) New Zealand - 0.00004% (23) Greece - 0.00004% (24) Turkey - 0.00004% (25) Saudi Arabia - 0.00003% (26) Japan - 0.00003% (27) China - 0.00003% (28) Argentina - 0.00002% (29) Poland - 0.00002% (30) Brazil - 0.00001% (31) Mexico - 0.00001% (32) South Africa - 0.00001% (33) Philippines - 0.00001% (34) India - 0.00001% (35) Indonesia - 0.00001% (36) Romania - 0.00001% (37) Vietnam - 0.000004% (38) Tanzania - 0.000002%
Number of Billionaires for Every 10,000,000 People in the Country
Another way to look at the billionaires share of their country’s total population is to look at the number of billionaires for every 10,000,000 people in the country.
Monaco has 3,158 billionaires for every 10,000,000 people. This means 3 of the 10,000 people in Monaco is a billionaire. Hong Kong has 86 billionaires for every 10,000,000 people. Singapore has 58 billionaires for every 10,000,000 people.
The chart below provides the data for the number of billionaires for every 10,000,000 people in their country. Please note that several countries have a total population much lesser than 10 million. For example, Monaco total population is just 38 thousand and they have a total of 12 billionaires. This analysis scales up their billionaire count for easy comparison with other countries.
Five-year Growth Forecast for the Number of Billionaires
If we look at the incremental growth in the number of billionaires over the next five years from 2018 to 2023, China ranks first. The number of billionaires in China are expected to increase by 108 to reach 481 in 2023, up from 373 in 2018. The United States and India rank second and third in the incremental growth in number of billionaires. The United States billionaire count will increase by 95 and India billionaire count will increase by 44 over the next five years.
The chart below provides the five-year growth forecast for the number of billionaires.
The data source for the billionaires population data in this article is the ‘The Wealth Report 2019 (13th Edition)’ by Knight Frank. The report further mentions GlobalData WealthInsight as the data source. The number of countries in our article is limited by the data freely available in the Knight Frank report.
The Knight Frank report further provides the data for the UHNWI (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals) Population. UHNWI are individuals with a net worth of over $30 million. The report provides UHNWI population data for 59 countries and 52 cities. The report also provides the millionaire population data for 41 countries.