The Newest Arms Race between the U.S. and China: Billionaires

October 30, 2018

The total number of billionaires in the world is growing. According to a new report from the Swiss banking group UBS and consultancy firm PwC, as of 2017, there were 2,158 billionaires worldwide, 199 more than the year before.  Their wealth grew by 19 percent in 2017, to a total of $8.9 trillion.

The newly minted billionaires came primarily from two places: the U.S and China. The U.S. saw 53 individuals become billionaires in 2017, for a total of 585.

China added many more billionaires. The nation averaged two new billionaires every week, for a total of 106 added for the year. However, the billionaire list in China is much more volatile, with 51 falling off the list this year. Therefore, China saw a net increase of 55 billionaires for the year, bringing the total to 373. Still, China is adding billionaires at a staggering pace. As of 2006, the nation had only 16 billionaires. 89 of the year’s new billionaires in China were self-made business owners, versus only 30 in America.

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