Sat 4 Oct 2014
What does a “typical” billionaire look like in the year 2014? The annual Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census, which gives an in-depth accounting of the world’s wealthiest people, devotes an entire section to answering this question. Here are a few points:
• The typical billionaire has a net worth of $3.49 billion ($US3.1 billion)
• The typical billionaire is 63 years old. (It was 62 last year.)
• The typical billionaire has nearly half of his or her wealth in ownership of privately held businesses.
The typical billionaire owns four properties worth some $106.05 million altogether.
Want to break it down further? According to the survey, there are a record 2,325 billionaires in the world today, up 7 per cent from the previous year. Their total wealth increased 12 per cent in the same period to $8.23 trillion, which is equal to 4 per cent of global wealth and greater than the combined market capitalisation of all the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. As might be expected, men account for 2,039 of billionaires worldwide (or more than four in five) and $7.22 trillion of their combined wealth.
Billionaires also have what the Wealth-X/UBS report charmingly refers to as a “billionaire network.” The typical billionaire has “business or personal relationships with another nine UHNW [ultra high net worth] individuals, three of which are billionaires,” it notes. That means the typical billionaire has a friend circle worth an estimated $18.05 billion. The “must-go” events on their social calendar, according to the report, include sporting events (particularly the U.S. Masters and PGA Championship), the Davos World Economic Forum, and various elite art shows (a good deal of which are sponsored by UBS).
Should you wish to track down a billionaire, you’re best off looking in New York, home to 103 billionaires — ahead of the runners-up, Moscow (85) and Hong Kong (82). You could also try crashing an alumni event at the University of Pennsylvania, which counts 25 billionaires among its graduates (Harvard and Yale are close behind). In terms of regions, Europe still has the largest number of billionaires, as you can see in the map from Statista below, and tiny little Liechtenstein boasts the highest number of billionaires per capita, at five.