Asia has more billionaires than any other continent, a survey by a China-based wealth magazine showed on Thursday, overtaking North America for the first time.
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There were 1,453 people around the world with a personal wealth of $1 billion or more as of Jan. 17, according to the Hurun Global Rich List for 2013 . They had a combined fortune of $5.5 trillion — the equivalent of China’s GDP.
The average age is 63. One in 10 is female.
Asia is home to the lion’s share of billionaires on the planet with 608 individuals, followed by North America with 440 billionaires and Europe 324.
By country, the U.S. was home to 409 billionaires, comfortably ahead of the 317 from China. Half of all billionaires on the planet live in either the U.S. or China.
Moscow is the billionaire capital of the world, home to 76 billionaires, edging out New York which has 70. London came in at fifth place behind Hong Kong and Beijing. Five of the top 10 cities for billionaires are in Greater China.
But all these figures are probably under-guesstimates.
“For every billionaire that Hurun Report has found, I estimate we have missed at least two, meaning that today there are probably 4,000 dollar billionaires in the world,” Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said in a statement.
Here’s a look at the world’s top 10 richest man and women:
10. Liliane Bettencourt ($30 billion)
L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt broke into the top 10 for the first time, and is the richest woman on the planet with a $30 billion fortune.
8. David Koch ($31 billion)
Energy tycoons Charles and David Koch grew their combined wealth by $14 billion to take them to a personal fortune of $31 billion each and a joint eighth place. Were they to be ranked jointly, they would be at $62 billion, taking them to second place in the world.
7. Li Ka-shing ($32 billion)
The 85-year old Li Ka-Shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., saw his wealth increase by $8 billion to keep him Asia’s richest man. This past year, Li has consolidated his position as the U.K.’s biggest foreign investor, adding to his collection of water and gas utilities.
6. Larry Ellison ($43 billion)
Larry Ellison managed to keep his sixth place with a net increase of $9 billion on last year. The bulk of his fortune comes from his 23 percent stake in Oracle, which in February this year agreed to acquire Acme Packet for $2.1 billion.
5. Bernard Arnault ($51 billion)
Bernard Arnault, France’s richest person and the “King of Luxury,” saw his wealth rise by $9 billion to land him in fifth place. This past year, LVMH posted record sales and a 12 percent profit hike.
4. Bill Gates ($54 billion)
Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), this year fell out of the top three for the first time, dropping down from second place to fourth, despite seeing his wealth grow by $4 billion to $54 billion. At 57, Gates is the youngest member of the global top 10.
3. Amancio Ortega ($55 billion)
Despite Spain’s recent financial pain, Amancio Ortega has seen his fortune rise by $21 billion or 53 percent, on the back of continued global expansion of the Zara fashion brand, which has jumped Ortega into third place, up from seventh last year. Ortega is Europe’s richest person.
2. Warren Buffett ($58 billion)
The 82-year-old Warren Buffett is up one place to second in the world on the back of a $10 billion increase in his wealth. This past year has seen Buffett continue his large-scale investments, with the purchase of H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) for more than $20 billion. In September 2012, Buffett completed treatment for prostate cancer.
1. Carlos Slim ($66 billion)
The 73-year-old Carlos Slim of Mexico consolidates his hold on the title of “richest man on the planet” with a personal fortune of $66 billion, growing it by $11 billion over the year.