You might imagine that a billionaire's favorite hobby would be counting the zeros in their bank account.
In reality, it's the opposite.
In its annual Billionaire Census report, market research firm Wealth-X found that philanthropy is the most popular passion among billionaires (64.7% of billionaires with a net worth of $5 billion or more have interest in philanthropy as do 50.2% of billionaires who have $1 billion to $5 billion).
But of course there are fun and games: The second most popular hobby among billionaires is sports (53.6% of billionaires with $5 billion plus say its an interest, passion or hobby of theirs, as do 42% of billionaires that have $1 billion to $5 billion), and as sports go, overall, golf reigns supreme.
Wealth-X's study, which is based on its own proprietary data and intelligence from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018, found that overall, 55.1% of billionaires consider golf an interest, passion or hobby.
However, among those with over $5 billion in particular, there is more interest in soccer (called football outside of the U.S.) — 30.3% of the $5 billion-plus set have an interest in soccer, and only 28.2% golf. Among those with $1 billion to $5 billion, however, 26.9% have an interest in golf and just 19.5% soccer.
Overall, soccer is the second most popular sport with 49.8% of all billionaires naming it as an interest, passion or hobby.
The third most popular sport among billionaires is skiing (20.7% of those with more than $5 billion and 16.7% of those with $1 billion to $5 billion).
Next up is tennis (15.4% of those with more than $5 billion and 15.3% of those with $1 to $5 billion).
Less popular sports include those that typically draw massive crowds, including basketball, American football and baseball. The least popular sport among billionaires was cricket, followed by automobile racing and then cycling. The study notes that more than one sports interest was possible.
Other popular interests, passions and hobbies among billionaires include aviation and politics.
"Billionaire status affords individual freedom to enjoy almost any pursuit — and examining the interests, passions and hobbies of this population allows us to gain a better sense of what makes them tick," Wealth-X's report states.
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