There are more billionaires than ever before — 2,473 — but the three-comma club is still an exclusive one: There is only one billionaire for every 2.95 million people on the planet.
What does the typical billionaire look like? We dove into the Wealth-X report to find common characteristics.
There are 2,179 male billionaires, compared to a scant 294 female billionaires, and 140 of the 148 newly minted billionaires this year were male.
Additionally, "wealth held by male billionaires also increased, now standing at 88.6% of total wealth," Wealth-X reports.
Both male and female billionaires are becoming more entrepreneurial.
"Young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs and innovators have been able to amass considerable wealth in short periods of time by engaging with clients through digital channels they are comfortable with," Wealth-X says, citing billionaires like Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick and Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky as examples.
Considering the entrepreneurial trend, it's no surprise that today's billionaires are also increasingly self-made. In fact, the majority — 57% — are now self-made, an increase of 7% from 2014.
"This is in contrast to the number of billionaires with inherited wealth, which has fallen by 29% since 2014," Wealth-X reports.
Some 70% of billionaires possess a bachelor's degree. However, significantly fewer have continued their formal education after college: 22% have a master's degree, 13% have an MBA, 10% have a Ph.D., 3% have a law degree, and less than 1% have a degree in medicine.
The average age of male billionaires is 63.2, while the average age of female billionaires is 62.2.
More than 85% of billionaires are married and have an average of three children. The marriage rate is much lower for female billionaires: 62%, compared to 88% of their male counterparts.
"Philanthropy is the primary passion amongst global billionaires," Wealth-X reports. "More than 56% of total billionaires either undertake or are interested in pursuing philanthropic activities."
Take founder and CEO of Bloomberg Media Michael Bloomberg, who has donated $4.3 billion over his lifetime. And then there's the Giving Pledge, which Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates created in order to invite the world's wealthiest people to pledge more than half of their wealth to charitable causes either during their lives or in their wills. Some have even pledged to give away more than 99% of their fortunes.
Behind philanthropy, the second and third most popular interests are travel and art: 31% of today's billionaires report travel as a passion, while 29% report art.