The Strategist

Billionaires Insights 2020: Wealth of billionaires around the world grows by 20% in last 2 years

10/08/2020 - 05:11

According to analysts from UBS and PwC, over the past two and a half years, the combined wealth of billionaires from different countries has grown by 19%. After a slight decline at the beginning of the year, it has resumed growth. Experts record a polarization in the incomes of the richest: while the fortunes of billionaires from the high-tech industry and the medical sphere are growing sharply, in some areas the growth has slowed down.

In 2018 and 2019, as well as in the first seven months of this year, the combined wealth of all the world's billionaires grew by 19.1%, to 10.2 trillion, and their number increased slightly - by 1.4%, reaching 2,189 people. This data is found in the report "Billionaires Insights 2020", published by the Swiss bank UBS together with the consulting company PwC. The study covers more than 2,000 billionaires from 43 countries in the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which account for 98% of all billionaires in the world.

The authors of the report point to polarization as one of the most important factors in recent years in this area. Indeed, in 2018 and 2019 and the first seven months of 2020, the overall wealth of tech billionaires grew by 42.5% to $ 1.8 trillion, and the wealth of billionaires from industries related in one way or another to medicine grew by 50.3%, to $ 658.6 billion. This is significantly higher than the average growth in general.

As the authors of the report note, this polarization only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the wealth of billionaires from the technology sector in the period from April to July this year grew by 41.1%, the wealth of billionaires from the medical industry - by 36.3%, and the wealth of billionaires associated with production - by 44.4%. At the same time, some sectors showed much weaker growth: the wealth of billionaires associated with financial services grew least of all - by 12.8%, and the fortune of billionaires from the real estate sector rose by 12.9%.

The report also notes that billionaires from the Asia-Pacific region show the greatest resilience in the face of the crisis. In the period from the end of 2019 to April 2020 - it was during this period that the largest decline in fortunes occurred, after they began to grow again - their wealth decreased by only 2.1%, to $ 2.4 trillion, and the total number of billionaires even increased by 12 people, up to 766 people. The fortune of billionaires from Europe, the Middle East and Africa declined the most during this period - by 10.1%, to $ 2.2 trillion, and the number of billionaires decreased by 36 people, to 562 people. In the case of billionaires from the Americas, their wealth decreased by 7.4%, to $ 3.4 trillion, and the number - by 19 people, to 730 people.