Forbes’ billionaires list reflects a new world order

The world has over 1,200 billionaires.  Almost half of them are from countries outside Europe and the USA.

Forbes’ billionaires list announcement is always a lot of fun, if only because you just know so many of them hate being listed on it.

But what struck me more than anything this year was how loudly this list highlighted the shifting in money and power from the ‘West’.

The new world order

A glance at the list will tell you the following:

  • The USA accounts for 34% of the list. Ten years ago, it was 50%.
  • Europe accounts for 25%. Together, Europe and the USA account for 59% of the world’s billionaires. Watch this figure decrease next year.
  • There is no Briton in the top 50. The first Briton, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor & family, comes in at 57. Just another sign of our ailing importance in the new world order. Mexico, USA, France, India, Spain, Brazil, Hong Kong, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Italy, Ukraine and Nigeria all had billionaires in the top 56.
  • Asia has more billionaires on the list than Europe, with 332 in Asia and 300 in Europe.
  • You are most likely to meet a billionaire in Moscow.
  • You are most likely to make a billion in Asia.

The top 10

The top 10 in 2011 are:

1.     Carlos Slim Helu & family, Mexico: $74bn

2.     Bill Gates, USA: $56bn

3.     Warren Buffett, USA: $50bn

4.     Bernard Arnault, France: $41bn

5.     Larry Ellison, USA: $39.5bn

6.     Lakshmi Mittal, India: $31.1bn

7.     Amancio Ortega, Spain: $31bn

8.     Eike Batista, Brazil: $30bn

9.     Mukesh Ambani, India: $27bn

10. Christy Walton & family, USA: $26.5bn

Facebook delivers six billionaires

Six Facebook guys made it onto the billionaires list. Mark Zuckerberg, at 26, is the second youngest billionaire on the list. His co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, is the youngest.

Eduardo Saverin, whose widely publicised spat with Facebook was made into the movie The Social Network, is also on the list. As Steve Forbes says, “Shed no tears for Eduardo.”

Read more:

Forbes, The World’s Billionaires, 10 March 2011

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