Global Billionaire Population and Wealth Surged to All-time High in 2019

Wealth-X, the world’s leading provider of data and insight on the wealthy, today released The Billionaire Census 2020. The seventh edition of this unique report analyzes the status of the world’s billionaire population, a modest number of individuals who hold immense wealth and significant influence over the global economy.

While prior editions of the Billionaire Census showcased only data from the previous year, this new report also includes key intelligence from the first months of 2020 to provide early insight into the economic impact of COVID-19.

In 2019, the size of the global billionaire population increased strongly, rising by 8.5% to 2,825 individuals, more than reversing the previous year’s decline and reaching an all-time high. The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires outpaced the population’s growth in 2019, rising by 10.3% to $9.4 trillion.

This significant growth was led returns across almost all major asset classes, despite a loss of momentum in the global economy and a still turbulent geopolitical environment. The bullish performance in financial markets was largely driven by a flood of central bank liquidity, delivering a boost to investor sentiment and global equities.

There were regional variations in wealth gains that reflected the volatile geopolitical backdrop and contrasting national economies, with North America and Asia seeing the strongest returns, and only subdued wealth creation in the Middle East and Latin America.

Among numerous findings, the Billionaire Census 2020 reveals:

  • China billionaire population expanded the most rapidly – though the US is still home to the largest number of billionaires at 788.
  • Average billionaire net worth has been significantly impacted by the economic fallout from COVID-19 – though the number of billionaires in several industries, such as technology, grew by at least 6% in the first part of 2020.
  • Over 10% of billionaires donated toward the fight against COVID-19 – with others giving coming anonymously or in the form of non-monetary commitments.
  • Billionaires pledging to COVID-19 causes differ from traditional major billionaire donors – those giving toward causes that fight the pandemic are, on average younger, wealthier and more likely to have created their own wealth.

The Billionaire Census 2020 also includes research on the top billionaire countries and cities around the world, the leading industries for billionaire creation, and the most popular interests, passions and hobbies of this exclusive population.

For the complete findings, download the full report at

About Wealth-X

The global leader in wealth information and insight, Wealth-X partners with prestige brands across the financial services, luxury, nonprofit and higher-education industries to fuel strategic decision-making in sales, marketing and compliance. Wealth-X has developed the world’s largest collection of records on wealthy individuals and produces unparalleled data analysis to help organizations uncover, understand, and engage their target audience, as well as mitigate risk. Founded in 2010, with staff across North America, Europe and Asia, Wealth-X provides unique data, analysis, and counsel to a growing roster of over 500 clients, worldwide.

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