By Victor Ochieng
A new study report released by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed that there are 145 billionaire women across the globe up from only 22 in 1995. That represents 560% growth over the 20-year period.
The industries where women are doing very well are healthcare, industrial, and real estate.
Some of the black women billionaires appearing on this list are TV personality Oprah Winfrey and Folorunsho Alakija, a Nigerian oil industry mogul.
Of all the women billionaires around the world, 80% come from U.S. and Europe, with most of them having earned their wealth from inheritance. The study also found out that new wealth creation is fast shifting to Asia. An interesting fact about Asian female billionaires is that a majority of them are first-generation businesspeople.
“The rise of female and Asian billionaires over the last two decades is creating an entirely new billionaire demographic, and I see no signs of slowing,” said Josef Stadler, head of Global Ultra High Net Worth, UBS. “While there is no such thing as a typical billionaire, virtually all are focused on building a lasting legacy for future generations. Achieving this goal increasingly requires strategic thought and long-term planning.”
In comparison, the number of male billionaires, which currently stands at 1,202, is rising at a slower pace.
But even with that slow growth, men still dominate the billionaire league, accounting for close to 90% of all world billionaires.
Over the 20-year-period from 1995, the attrition rate of billionaire has been high, with only 44% of the 126 billionaires in 1995 having retained that status. The average wealth of those who were billionaires back then was $2.9 billion and it has grown to $11 billion today, outpacing the global GDP.
The wealthiest in the world are getting wealthier at a rate faster than the global economy. Over the past 20 years, the wealth of the world’s billionaires has gone up eightfold to hit $5.4 trillion, while that of the global economy has only tripled to above $77 trillion over the same period.
The study is based on data relating to over 1,300 billionaires drawn from across the globe, and takes into account interviews, most of which were conducted with the world’s topmost billionaires.
The fast rising number of women billionaires is, however, a good tiding as women continue to fight for space in the business world.