Today’s data visualization, using the latest information from Wealth-X, takes an in-depth look at the world’s wealthiest billionaires by breaking down important data on age, location, and the source of their fortunes.
On an individual level, the people that make the definitive list of the Top 50 Wealthiest Billionaires are interesting, divisive, and envied around the globe. Together, they are a real force to be reckoned with: their combined fortunes tally to $1.46 trillion, which is more money than the GDP of entire countries such as Australia or Spain.
Billionaires by Geography
- The lion’s share of the wealthiest billionaires come from the United States, where 58% of the list is located.
- The rest are mostly in Europe (16%) and China (12%), which includes those from Hong Kong.
- The Southern Hemisphere only has one billionaire – Jorge Lemann from Brazil. However, even he now lives in Switzerland.
- Surprisingly, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Russia combined have a grand total of zero representation on the Top 50 Billionaires list.
Billionaires by Age
- The youngest billionaire on the list is Mark Zuckerberg, at just 31 years of age.
- The oldest billionaire is Liliane Bettencourt, the principal shareholder of cosmetic giant L’Oréal. She is 93 years old.
- The age of tech billionaires skewed the lowest, with an average age of 51.
- The age of all non-tech billionaires was far higher at 72.
- The Walton siblings, which include Rob, Alice, and Jim Walton, are all descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, and each have healthy fortunes of over $33 billion.
- Meanwhile, the sons and daughters of Forrest Mars Sr., the creator of a candy empire, are not doing too bad for themselves, either. Forrest Jr., Jacqueline, and John Mars each have respective fortunes of $28.6 billion.
- The divisive Koch Brothers also are high on the list, inheriting their initial wealth from father Fred C. Koch, the founder of Koch Industries. They succeeded in buying out their two other brothers, Frederick and William, after highly-publicized court battles in the 1980s and 1990s. Today the Koch Brothers have a combined fortune of $94.2 billion.
- Other billionaires are connected by being from the same corporate family, sharing in the success of creating empires from the ground up. Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Paul Allen all worked to create Microsoft,
- and Larry Page and Sergey Brin built Google (now Alphabet) into one of the biggest companies in the world.
Billionaires by Industry
- Technology, which brings us names such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison, has more billionaires than any other industry with 12.
- The world’s largest fashion and retail brands, such as Wal-Mart, Zara, Nike, and H&M, also have helped to get many people on this list.
- At the same time, other industries such as media are under-represented, with only two names with empires built in the sector making the top 50.
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Today’s infographic describes the world’s wealthiest billionaires under 35 years of age.
2. America’s Most Generous Billionaires
Contrary to the image we may have of billionaires, many are on a mission to give away their money. This infographic looks at the American billionaires who have signed up to the Giving Pledge, as well as other millionaires and billionaires who have been making relatively large contributions in the past few years.