India and China, two of Asia’s largest and fastest-growing economies, have minted millionaires at an unprecedented rate over the last decade. But which billion-plus-person country has more billionaires? The number of Indian billionaires shrank 3 per cent this year, while the number in China jumped 21 per cent…
While both India’s Prime Minster Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping, who visited India recently, are known to rub elbows with ten-figure friends, statistically speaking Mr. Xi is likely to have more of them. Mainland China is home to 190 billionaires, while India has 100 citizens with a net worth of more than $1 billion, according a report this week from Singapore-based research firm Wealth-X and Swiss bank UBS. The number of Indian billionaires shrank 3 per cent this year, while the number in China jumped 21 per cent.
When you compare each country’s biggest billionaire cities, the competition is a bit closer. Mumbai, India’s top hometown for the superrich, has 28 billionaires. That’s fewer than the 37 billionaires in Beijing. But the smaller Mumbaikar billionaire tribe is collectively worth about the same amount as the billionaires in China’s capital. Globally, there are now 2,325 people with a net worth of at least $1 billion this year. That’s 155 more than in 2013, a 7 per cent increase.
Men make up 88 per cent of billionaires and the average person in this exclusive club is 63 years old. Just over half of billionaires made their fortunes on their own, while the remainder inherited at least part of their wealth. New members to the billionaire club from India and China shouldn’t get too cocky, though. They are still relatively poor — as far as billionaires go. Chinese billionaires’ average net worth was $2.3 billion. For Indians, it was $1.8 billion. That’s below the global average of $3.1 billion and far behind the billionaires of the U.S., France, Spain and Hong Kong – who are, on average, worth more than $4 billion each.