Asia created more billionaires last year than any other region

Asia created more billionaires last year than any other region

Asia is now home to more billionaires than North America, according to the latest study from ultra high net worth research firm Wealth-X.

The region's billionaire population shot up by almost a third last year (29.2 per cent) to 784 individuals, Wealth-X's Billionaire Census 2018 found. North America, meanwhile, experienced more modest gains of 11.2 per cent, taking the number of billionaires who reside there to 727.
The uptick marks the first time Asia's billionaire population has exceeded that of North America.
To be sure, the US remains the country with the greatest number of billionaires - 680 individuals - but the increase in Asia marks a broader shift in regional wealth trends.

Asia is now home to 28.5 per cent of the world's 2,754 billionaires, slipping in just behind Europe, which is top with 29.8 per cent.

North America now ranks as the world's third most populous continent for billionaires - moving down from second place - staking claim to 26.4 per cent.

The Middle East is home to the fourth largest proportion, with 6.9 per cent, while Latin America and the Caribbean house 5.7 per cent. The number of billionaires in Africa and the Pacific both fall under 2 per cent.

China leads the way

In the past year, the total amount of wealth in Asia also shot up by a greater degree than any other region in the world.

Wealth in the region grew by 49.4 per cent in 2017 to $2.3 trillion, well ahead of the gains of North America's 22.8 per cent and Europe's 14.9 per cent.

The sudden surge was led largely by China, which alone saw its billionaire wealth swell by 61 per cent to $1.1 trillion.

However, India and Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, also saw noticeable gains over the period.

This article was first published on CNBC