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From Data to Dollars: Uncover Wealthy Donors
Billionaire Census 2023
Published by: Maeen Shaban
Published on:

A Breakdown of the Wealthy Across the Globe

Published by: Maeen Shaban
Published on:
An in depth look into the make up of the world's wealthiest individuals, where they are located, what industries they work in and more.

Billionaires, Ultra High Net Worth individuals and Very High Net Worth individuals hold a huge swathe of the world’s private wealth.

This Q&A-style article breaks down the makeup of this exclusive group. We take a look at where these individuals are located, what industries they work in, how old they are, and more.

What makes an individual wealthy?

An individual’s wealth is comprised of their liquid holdings (cash and dividends), their public and private holdings (such as shares) and their real estate and luxury assets, such as fine art, cars and yachts. While there is no single definition of what classifies an individual as ‘wealthy’, Wealth-X considers those with $1m or more in net worth as wealthy.

Their often differing allocations of wealth holdings, as well as their own distinct wants and requirements, mean we classify this group of individuals into a few wealth tiers:

  • Billionaires are defined as people who have a net worth of 1 billion dollars or more.
  • Ultra High Net Worth individuals (UHNWI) are defined as people who have a net worth of 30 million dollars or more.
  • Very High Net Worth individuals (VHNWI) are defined as people who have a net worth of five to 30 million dollars.
  • A high net worth individual (HNWI) is defined as people who have a net worth of one to five million dollars.

What drives the growth of wealth?

A multitude of factors influence the size of the wealthy population, its combined net worth and how that wealth is distributed over time. At a country level, these include the quality of institutions, its economic structure, natural resources, tax and trade policies, and the level of entrepreneurship, among many others. These factors shape the size of a country’s economy, the value of its stock market(s) and the strength of its exchange rate — all of which impact the size of a country’s wealthy population year on year, and in turn, the world’s.

Billionaires

Billionaires are defined as people who have a net worth of 1 billion dollars or more. This section looks into where the billionaire population is located, their total net worth, age, gender, main industries, and more.

Billionaire Population

  • What is the global billionaire population?
    In 2022, the total billionaire population around the world was 3,194 individuals. This was a 3.5% decrease in the population since 2021.
  • What is the billionaire population in Asia?
    In 2022, the total billionaire population in Asia was 835 individuals, accounting for 26.1% of the total global population. This was a 7.1% decrease since 2021.
  • What is the billionaire population in the Pacific?
    In 2022, the total billionaire population in the Pacific was 41 individuals, accounting for 1.3% of the total global population. This was a 2.5% increase since 2021.
  • What is the billionaire population in the Middle East?
    In 2022, the total billionaire population in the Middle East was 187 individuals, accounting for 5.9% of the total global population. This was a 2.1% decrease since 2021.

  • What is the billionaire population in Europe?
    In 2022, the total billionaire population in Europe was 933 individuals, accounting for 29.2% of the total global population. This was a 2.2% decrease since 2020.
  • What is the billionaire population in Africa?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire population in Africa was 46 individuals, accounting for 1.4% of the total global population. This was a no change from 2021.
  • What is the billionaire population in North America?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire population in North America was 1,011 individuals, accounting for 31.7% of the total global population. This was a 2.3% decrease from 2021.
  • What is the billionaire population in Latin America and the Caribbean?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire population in Latin America and the Caribbean was 141 individuals, accounting for 4.4% of the total global population. This was a 3.4% decrease since 2021.
  • What are the 15 countries with the highest number of billionaires?
    • In 2022, the top 5 countries with the highest number of billionaires was as follows: the US, China, Germany, UK and India. To get a list of all of 15, and how many billionaires each country has, please download our Billionaire Census report.
  • What are the 15 cities with the highest number of billionaires?
    • In 2022, the top 5 cities with the highest number of billionaires was as follows: New York, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Moscow and London. To get a list of all 15, and how many billionaires each city has, please download our Billionaire Census report.

Billionaire Wealth by Region

  • What is the total global billionaire wealth?
    • In 2022, the collectively net worth of billionaires was $11,107bn. This is a 5.5% decrease from 2021.
  • What is the total billionaire wealth in Asia?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire wealth in Asia was $2,625bn. This was a 9.0% decrease from 2021.
  • What is the total billionaire wealth in the Pacific?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire wealth in the Pacific was $87bn. This was a 1.3% decrease since 2021.
  • What is the total billionaire wealth in the Middle East?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire wealth in the Middle East was $556bn. This was a 7.2% increase since 2021.
  • What is the total billionaire wealth in Europe?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire wealth in Europe was $2,901bn. This was a 6.8% decrease since 2021.
  • What is the total billionaire wealth in Africa?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire wealth in Africa was $101bn. This was a 2.8% decrease since 2021.
  • What is the total billionaire wealth in North America?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire wealth in North America was $4,345bn. This was a 5.1% decrease since 2021.
  • What is the total billionaire wealth in Latin America and the Caribbean?
    • In 2022, the total billionaire wealth in Latin America and the Caribbean was $491 bn. This was a 5.7% increase since 2021.

Billionaire Industries, Age, and More

  • What are the main industries that billionaires work in devote most of their time to?
  • How old is the average billionaire?
    • The average billionaire is 67 years old.
  • What proportion of billionaires inherited their wealth?
    • 10.2% of all billioanires inherited their wealth.
  • What proportion of billionaires are self made?
    • 60.2% of all billionaires are self made.
  • What proportion of billionaires have inherited their wealth and are also self made?
    • 29.6% of all billionaires attribute their wealth to a combination of inheritance and being self-made.

Ultra High Net Worth Population

Ultra High Net Worth individuals are defined as people who have a net worth of 30 million dollars or more. This section looks into where the ultra wealthy population is located, their total net worth, age, gender, main industries, and more.

UHNW Population

  • What is the total ultra high net worth population around the world?
    • In 2022, the total ultra high net worth population around the world was 395,070.
  • What is the ultra high net worth population in Asia?
    • In 2022, the total ultra high net worth population in Asia was 108,370. This was a 10.9% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the ultra high net worth population in the Pacific?
    • In 2022, the total ultra high net worth population in the Pacific was 6,640. This was a 4.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the ultra high net worth population in Middle East?
    • In 2022, the total ultra high net worth population in the Middle East was 21,640. This was a 15.7% increase from the previous year.  
  • What is the ultra high net worth population in Europe?
    • In 2022, the total ultra high net worth population in Europe was 100,850. This was a 7.1% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the ultra high net worth population in Africa?
    • In 2022, the ultra high net worth population in Africa was 3,020. This was a 4.4% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the ultra high net worth population in North America?
    • In 2022, the ultra high net worth population in North America was 142,990. This was a 4.0% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the ultra high net worth population in Latin America and Caribbean?
    • In 2022, the ultra high net worth population in Latin America and the Caribbean was 11,560. This was a 17.5% increase from the previous year.
  • What are the 10 countries with the highest number of ultra high net worth individuals?

UHNW Wealth

  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population globally?
    • The total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in 2022 globally was $45,430bn. This is an 5.5% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in North America?
    • In 2022 the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in North America was $16,470bn. This was a 4.3% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Latin America and the Caribbean?
    • In 2022 the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Latin America is $1,439bn. This was an 13.8% increase from the previous year.
  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Europe?
    • In 2021 the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Europe was $11,730bn. This was a 7.1% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in the Middle East?
    • In 2022 the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Middle East was $2,702bn. This was a 13.0% increase from the previous year.
  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Africa?
    • In 2022 the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Africa was $360bn. This was a 3.9% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Asia?
    • In 2022 the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Asia was $12,130bn. This was a 10.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • What is the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in the Pacific?
    • In 2022 the total wealth of the ultra high net worth population in Pacific was $599bn. This was a  4.2% decrease from the previous year.

UHNW Industries, Age, and More

  • What is the average age of an ultra wealthy person?
    • The average age of an ultra wealthy person is 65.7 years old.
  • What is the average age of the ultra wealthy female?
    • The average age of the ultra wealthy female is 64.9 years old.
  • What is the average age of the ultra wealthy male?
    • The average age of the ultra wealthy male is 65.8 years old.
  • What are the top 2 industries of the ultra wealthy population?
  • What is the main source of wealth for the ultra wealthy population?
    • The main source of wealth for the ultra wealthy population is self-made. The discover the breakdown between self-made, inherited and inherited/self-made, download the full report here.

Very High Net Worth Population

Very High Net Worth individuals are defined as people who have a net worth of five to 30 million dollars. This section of the article looks into where this segment of the wealthy population is located and their total net worth.

VHNW Population

  • What was the number of very high net worth individuals in 2020?
    • The very high net worth population in 2020 was 2,694,480 individuals. This was a 1.3% increase from the population in 2019.
  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals was $26,812bn. This was a 1.2% increase from their total wealth in 2019.
  • What is the total number of very high net worth individuals in North America?
    • In 2020 the North American population of very high net worth individuals was 1,118,740 individuals. This was a 7.1% increase from 2019.
  • What is the total number of very high net worth individuals in Latin America and the Caribbean?
    • In 2020 the Latin America and the Caribbean population of very high net worth individuals was 56,220 individuals. This was a 26.1% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total number of very high net worth individuals in Africa?
    • In 2020 the African population of very high net worth individuals was 23,610 individuals. This was a 2.7% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total number of very high net worth individuals in Europe?
    • In 2020 the European population of very high net worth individuals was 623,880 individuals. This was a 7% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total number of very high net worth individuals in the Middle East?
    • In 2020 the Middle East’s population of very high net worth individuals was 67,340 individuals. This was an 8.8% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total number of very high net worth individuals in Asia?
    • In 2020 the Asian population of very high net worth individuals was 761,070 individuals. This was a 5.2% increase from 2019.
  • What is the total number of very high net worth individuals in the Pacific?
    • In 2020 the Pacific’s population of very high net worth individuals was 43,620 individuals. This was a 7.2% decrease from 2019.

VHNW Wealth

  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in North America?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in North America was $11,003bn. This was a 7% increase from 2019.
  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals Latin America and the Caribbean?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in Latin America and the Caribbean was $560bn. This was a 26.1% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in Africa?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in Africa was $235bn. This was a 2.6% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in Europe?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in Europe was $6,275bn. This was a 6.9% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in the Middle East?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in the Middle East was $687bn. This was a 8.7% decrease from 2019.
  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in Asia?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in Asia was $7,632bn. This was a 5.1% increase from 2019.
  • What is the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in the Pacific?
    • In 2020, the total wealth of all very high net worth individuals in the Pacific was $419bn. This was a 7.1% decrease from 2019.

Our Analytics service provides market-level insights on the global wealthy customized to your needs, from the wealthy’s population, to their interests, source of wealth, asset allocation, philanthropic causes and much more. 


Maeen Shaban is an expert in understanding the wealthy, specifically their populations, growth and trends which affect them across the globe. He is a lead author of Wealth-X’s main thought leadership reports, including the World Ultra High Net Worth Report, the Billionaire Census and the High Net Worth Handbook. Maeen continues to work with clients such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Rolls Royce, Loreal and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He holds First Class Honours in Financial Engineering, has completed CFA Level II and conducted post graduate research on sovereign offshore investment strategies.