More than 800 individuals have become billionaires since the financial markets bottomed out in March 2009 following the global financial crisis, with today’s total population at 2,170.
According to the Billionaire Census 2013, released by Wealth-X and UBS, Asia is the fastest growing region for individuals whose worth is at least 10 figures long.
Since last year, the region’s billionaire population rose 3.7%, with 18 new individuals, and total billionaire wealth increased 13%.
Collectively, the world’s billionaires’ combined net worth has more than doubled from $3.1 trillion in 2009 to $6.5 trillion in 2013 – greater than the GDP of every single country except for the US and China. Their average wealth is $3 billion.
Europe is still home to the most billionaires with 766 individuals, but North America has the most billion wealth, at $2.2 trillion.
Latin America is the slowest growing region in terms of billionaire wealth, increasing just 2.3% in the past year.
Sixty per cent of billionaires are self-made, while 40% inherited their wealth or grew it from inheritance.
When it comes to women billionaires, however, only 17% are self-made – a figure the report forecasts is set to increase in the years ahead.