Billionaire Microcosm—How the New Forbes List Reflects the World


I present to you—without editorial comment—a bullet list of quotations, taken from an article in The Financial Times, analyzing the makeup of the new Forbes billionaire list.

Draw from it what broader conclusions you may:

  • "The number of billionaires in leading emerging economies has surpassed the number of those in Europe for the first time and is quickly closing in on the US, according to new figures from Forbes."
  • "At the beginning of this year, the Brics countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—had 301 billionaires, 108 more than in the previous year, and one more than Europe."
  • "In Asia, the number of billionaires has nearly tripled in the past two years to 332, with 115 in mainland China alone."
  • "Japan, once the economic engine of Asia, is now lagging with just 26 billionaires."
  • "Europe’s fortunes are also starting to slow, with its number of billionaires overtaken by Asia for the first time in more than a decade."
  • "Booming commodity prices have helped Russian billionaires."
  • "Billionaires in the US are the oldest in the world, with an average age of 66.
  • "The US still has the world’s most billionaires with 413 individuals with a total net worth of $1,500bn."

[Ok, I lied: One editorial comment. Is it worth taking heart that the US has held onto its title— when such a fact seems increasingly necessary to remark upon?]


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