Report: U.S., China dominate global billionaires

Story highlights

  • World has at least 1,453 billionaires -half of whom reside in the U.S. and China
  • But Moscow is home to the most billionaires, according to the Hurun Global Rich List
  • Billionaires have $5.5 trillion in personal wealth -- equivalent to the GDP of China
  • Asia is home to the most super-rich with 608 billionaires, Hurun said

The world has at least 1,453 billionaires, with about half of those residing in the U.S. and China, according to the Hurun Global Rich List.

In terms of cities, Moscow is home to the greatest number of billionaires with 76, followed by New York (70), Hong Kong (52), Beijing (41) and London (40).

"For every billionaire that Hurun Report has found, I estimate we have missed at least two, meaning that today there are probably 4,000 billionaires in the world," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based publishing group that tracks China's wealthy.

"Asia is home to the lion's share of billionaires on the planet with 608 individuals, followed by North America with 440 billionaires and Europe 324," said the report. "By country, the US was home to 409 billionaires, comfortably ahead of the 317 from China."

The billionaires on the list account for $5.5 trillion in personal wealth -- equivalent to the GDP of China, the world's second richest country, according to the report.

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"This past year has seen a rebound in the wealth of private sector," it stated. "Stock markets in the U.S. have risen and the U.S. dollar has gotten stronger, rising against the Brazilian real by 19%, Indian rupee by 12% and Japanese yen by 6%, making it harder for locals to make the cut-off."

Still, most billionaires on the list have companies listed on China's stock exchanges (212) rather than U.S. exchanges (211), despite Chinese markets underperforming in recent years.

Three out of four billionaires in the Hurun List are self-made, with real estate, telecommunications, media and technology and retail leading industries that produce the super-rich. One in every 10 billionaires are women, Hurun says.

The average age is 63 years, but Facebook founders Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz are the youngest self-made billionaires at 28 and 29, respectively, Hurun said.

Hurun: World's 10 Richest Billionaires

1. Carlos Slim Helu & family (Mexico - America Movil) : $66 billion

2. Warren Buffett (U.S. - Berkshire Hathaway): $58 billion

3. Amancio Ortega (Spain - Zara): $55 billion

4. Bill Gates (U.S. - Microsoft): $54 billion

5. Bernard Arnault (France - LVMH): $51 billion

6. Larry Ellison (U.S. - Oracle): $43 billion

7. Li Ka-shing (Hong Kong - Cheung Kong): $32 billion

8. Charles Koch (U.S. - Koch Industries): $31 billion

8. David Koch (U.S. - Koch Industries): $31 billion

10. Liliane Bettencourt (France - L'Oreal): $30 billion