Asian Billionaires Outnumbering American Billionaires


By Ryan Velez

A recent development may have economists a bit unnerved, as Celebrity Net Worth reports that for the first time in history, there are more Asian billionaires than American billionaires. To date, there are 637 Asian billionaires. That's up one quarter over the previous year according to a new report from UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report explains that there are also 563 billionaires in the U.S. and 342 in Europe. However, while the Asian billionaires may be greater in number, American billionaires are greater in fortune. A major reason for that is the fact that four of the five richest people in the world are American. These are Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg, who have a total net worth of about $2.8 trillion.

To understand the trend in Asia, one need only look to the growing amount of self-made billionaires. Roughly 75% of Asia's new billionaires are from China and India. These two countries also have Asia’s two largest economies by a wide margin. China added 67 new billionaires, India added 16. Asian billionaires have a combined wealth of $2.4 trillion. Most of these new billionaires across all the countries have made their fortune in the tech industry, little surprise at it takes more and more of a market share on our lives and our wallets. If the number of Asia's billionaires continues to rise, it is expected that that group will be wealthier than all of the American billionaires by about 2020.

In little surprise for those reading about the wealth gap and its growth, the billionaire class is getting richer across the world. The total wealth of the world's billionaires was up 17% in 2016 to $6 trillion. Some trends in ages are also interesting to note, as overall, billionaires are getting younger. The overall age of the world's billionaires is 63. The average American billionaire is 67-years-old. Chinese billionaires are on average 55-years-old, though the overall Asian age is 59. Part of this may be due to the fact that tech billionaires are the youngest group in this class on average, not just in the country, but across the entire world.