Billionaires like views of the Pacific Ocean.
San Francisco has more billionaires per inhabitant in the world — with one billionaire for approximately every 11,600 residents, according to data released Thursday by global wealth consultancy Wealth-X. San Francisco is followed by New York, Dubai and Hong Kong.
In terms of numbers alone, New York has the largest billionaire population globally (105 individuals), followed by Hong Kong (87), San Francisco (75), Moscow (70), London (65) and Beijing (55). To put that in context, San Francisco has over 860,000 residents. New York has over 8.6 million.
Nearly all of the top 15 countries by billionaire population saw a decline — except the U.S. and three European countries: the U.K., Russia, and France.
Facebook CEO FB, -0.12% Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO TWTR, -0.10% and other Silicon Valley titans are among the very few billionaires who are still in their 30s. Over half of all billionaires are between 50 and 70 years of age, and only a 10th of them are below 50.
The wealth of the world’s richest people declined by 7% to $8.56 trillion in 2018, Wealth-X said, citing global trade tensions, stock-market volatility a slowdown in economic growth. The number of billionaires fell 5.4% to 2,604, the second annual fall since the financial crash a decade ago.
The Americas fared the best of the three main regions, recording a slight rise in the number of billionaires of 0.9% to 892, but their wealth fell by 5.8% to $3.54 trillion. It was helped by a stronger U.S. dollar, interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Trump’s tax reform.
Last year’s billionaire performance followed a year of ‘unprecedented’ wealth creation in 2017, when the global billionaire population surged to an all-time high, Wealth-X said.
Last year’s tepid performance followed a year of “unprecedented” wealth creation in 2017, when the global billionaire population surged to an all-time high, Wealth-X said. Billionaire wealth remains well above the levels of two years ago.” But there was a loss of momentum in the second half of 2018.
Wealth-X uses a proprietary database. It provides insights into their financial assets, career history, known associates, family background, education, philanthropic endeavors, hobbies, real-estate holdings and business dealings. Their assets include both privately and publicly held businesses.
Billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region saw their wealth fall by 8.7% on the year to $2.23 trillion and their numbers fall by 13.4% to 707. While Asia’s gross domestic product grew by more than 8% in 2018, its stock markets plunged by more than 11% last year.
The wealth of billionaires fell by 7.1% to $3 trillion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; their number fell 4.6% to 1,005. Nearly all of the top 15 countries by billionaire population saw a decline — except the U.S. and three European countries: the U.K., Russia, and France.
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