Sunday, April 17, 2011
The TOP 10 Countries with The Most Billionaires
No longer dominated by Americans and Europeans, the members of the world's billionaire club increasingly hail from around the globe, first and third world countries alike. And while some of the mega-rich might may spend more time on yachts than in their home countries, even billionaires have a place they call home. It's just becoming increasingly difficult to predict where that home is.
According to this year's annual Wealth Report, published by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank -- Scorpio Partnership, a wealth management consultancy firm, also contributed -- new billionaires are increasingly likely to come from emerging economies like India and Russia, the latter of which increased its billionaire count by 30 percent last year, according to Forbes. The world's total number of millionaires has skyrocketed, too, increasing by 22 percent from one year prior, when the global economy witnessed a drastic drop in millionaires.
No country's elite, however, have benefited more from last year's rebounding economy than China's, with the country's tremendous economic growth raising the billionaire count by 140 percent. At this rate, many economists expect China -- ranked 35th in Forbes' billionaires list as recently as 2005 -- to soon claim the title of most billionaires in the world.
"That growth [in China] may be strengthened," Scorpio Partnership director Stephen Wall wrote in the report, "by the range of wealth sources driving economic growth."
Of all their thriving industries, the Internet technology sector has perhaps treated China's elites the best. And no one better represents that industry than China's richest man and Baidu search engine founder Robin Li. Still, Chinese billionaires will continue to face stiff competition from the U.S. in the future, as Facebook alone represents six of America's billionaires, including the youngest billionaire in the world: 26-year-old co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.