Billionaire count: 140
Total wealth: $430 billion
The United Kingdom has the largest number of billionaires in Europe, beating Germany by three, but it still lags Germany in terms of total wealth of the group by $120 billion.
The U.K.’s billionaires account for 1.3 percent of the population that is worth $30 million and more. They also hold nearly 33 percent of the total fortune of this group of ultra-rich. On average, these billionaires are worth $3.1 billion each. The ultra-rich group’s wealth grew by nearly 4 percent compared to the previous year, while its numbers grew by 0.2 percent. The U.K.’s ultra-rich population has benefited from the perception that the country is a safe haven for wealth amid the region’s uncertain economic conditions. More than a third of U.K.’s ultra-rich comprises non-domiciled residents.
There is also diversity in U.K.’s ultra-wealthy population with Caucasians making up almost 62 percent of this group, followed by South Asians at 28 percent, and people of Chinese, North Asian, and Middle Eastern descent accounting for more than 8 percent, according to Wealth-X.
The real estate sector has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of foreign wealth, with 65 percent of the Central London office market being purchased by foreign investors in 2011, according to real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. However, the prospect of a recession this year in the U.K. and a worsening euro zone debt crisis could reverse the current wealth inflows from risk-averse Europeans, according to Wealth-X.
(Pictured left: Financial district in London, England)