The term millionaire was once impressive, but times have changed. Currencies fluctuate, inflation takes its toll, and suddenly billionaires are more interesting than millionaires. But where are the most billionaires in the world, is the number of them growing or shrinking, and just how much do they have in the bank?
We’ve rounded up the top 10 countries with the most billionaires in the world, and if you want to be in with a chance of making it on to this list, you better start playing at a smartphone casino to add a few extra dollars to your bank account!
New York, United States
It likely doesn’t come as much of a surprise that if you’re looking for billionaires, you will find the majority of them living in New York City. There are 84 in total, which is 1 more than last year. The richest is Michael Bloomberg, who is worth a whopping $55.5 billion. The name Bloomberg LP will probably ring some bells as it provides data, analytical and news services to a broad group of companies. Other billionaires in the area include Ronald Lauder of Estee Lauder, and Steve Roth, who happens to be owner of 70% of the now-famous Trump skyscraper.
Hong Kong, China
Not surprisingly, China is next on the list, with 79 billionaires in total. That number has climbed by 2 since 2018, and set to climb even higher. This is due to the skyrocketing cost of housing in the city, which has drastically increased the wealth of those who own carefully purchased real estate. Of the 79 billionaires, 29 of those owe most of their wealth to inner city development. The wealthiest of the lot is the well-known Li Ka-shing, nicknamed Superman, who has amassed a fortune of $31.7 billion. He recently retired and handed over control of his multi-corporation conglomerate to his son.
It seems that as China is gaining billionaires, Russia is losing them. With a total of 71, that is 6 less than the previous year. The man with the most is Leonid Mikhelson, who has a grand fortune of $24 billion. He made most his money in the natural gas business, as CEO of Novatek, as well as having his finger in a few other pies.
China is back on the list, this time with capital city Beijing. 61 billionaires call this city home, a number that has dropped by 3 since last year. Interestingly enough, 2 of the youngest to officially call themselves billionaires can be found here, one of who amassed the fortune with cryptocurrency. But his meagre billions don’t hold a candle to Wang Jianlin, who is a real estate kingpin and has a cool $22.6 billion in the bank.
London, United Kingdom
London arrives rather later than expected on the list with 55 billionaires calling the city home. A number that has not grown or declined since the previous year. One curious aspect of London is that only 20 of the 55 billionaires are actually British, with the rest being expats. The top of the crop is Mikhail Fridman, with $15 billion in the bank. He was the Russian bank founder, and headed over to call London his home. That explains at least 1 of the 6 less in the Russian entry.
China is back for a third time, with Shanghai having a selection of uber-rich all of its own. There are 45 billion in total, which are 5 less than last year. Colin Huang is a leader of the Ecommerce boom taking place in the country, and the world, and has amassed an impressive fortune of $13.5 billion.
San Francisco, United States
The United States is back with San Francisco. 42 billionaires call the city home, with an interesting increase of 8 since the previous year. Cofounder of Facebook, Dustin Moskowitz, is the richest, with $11.1 billion. Not surprisingly, you will find owners of Uber, Pinterest and Airbnb in the same neighbourhood.
China makes an appearance for the last time, with 39 billionaires in Shenzhen. 5 down from the previous year. Ma Huateng is tops with $28 billion in the bank, and is the CEO of the globally influential Tencent software company.
Seoul, South Korea
Also surprisingly low on the list is Seoul, with 38 billionaires, 3 down from last year. It is, of course, the chairman of Samsung Lee Kun-hee and his $16.9 billion fortune who takes the top spot. The CEO of Hyundai lives in the same neighbourhood.
Finally, we have Mumbai, home to 37 billionaires, 8 down from the previous year. Mukesh Ambani takes the trophy as the wealthiest in the area, and also one of the wealthiest in the world. His estimated $50 billion fortune comes from an oil and gas giant Reliance Industries, but likewise played a major part in India’s mobile phone market. The Reliance owned company Jio caused chaos in 2016 by offering incomparably good deals on mobile phone services, and it looks like the cut-price offering paid off handsomely for the man at the top.