Wealth-X, the leader in applied wealth intelligence, launched the fifth edition of its annual Billionaire Census today, revealing that billionaire wealth surged by 24% to a record level in 2017.

The report attributes this significant increase in wealth to a synchronized upturn in the world economy and climbing equity markets. In a rapidly shifting geopolitical environment, the influence on the world economy of this most exclusive group of individuals is continuing to rise.

The number of billionaires in the world reached 2,754 last year, increasing 15% from the prior year and exceeding the previous record of 2,473 in 2015, according to the Billionaire Census 2018 by Wealth-X, a global wealth intelligence and insight provider.

Their total wealth, including public and/or private holdings, liquid assets (cash or cash equivalent), real estate and other luxury assets grew 24.4% year-over-year to US$9.205 trillion.

According to the Wealth-X Billionaire Census 2018 there are now more global billionaires than ever before, powered by a vibrant technology sector, as well as dynamic growth in the number of ultra-wealthy individuals in Asia – which, for the first time, overtook North America as the home of the most billionaires.

The number of female billionaires grew 18% to 321, outpacing the growth rate of 14.5% in male billionaires.

Asia is now home to more billionaires than North America

A notable change in 2017 was that Asia overtook North America for the first time in eight years in terms of its billionaire population. The number of billionaires in Asia increased 29.2% from 2016 to 784, which was 57 more than that in North America. Europe, however, still had the most billionaires, at 821.

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