Countries with the Most Billionaires 2024

January 2, 2024

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United States is the country with the most billionaires

For most, being a millionaire seems like an impossible dream. But for the richest people in the world, a million dollars seems like small change. Welcome to the world of billionaires, where private jets are the standard way to get around, and a private island is a nice birthday gift.

As of November 2023 there are 2,504 billionaires in the world according to Forbes’ list of billionaires. Carry on reading to find out which countries are home to the world’s richest citizens, where they place in the rich list and find out how they’ve made their money!

Number of billionaires by country

RankCountryNumber of billionaires
1United States of America730
6Hong Kong67
10United Kingdom52
19South Korea29
29Czech Republic11
44United Arab Emirates4
45South Africa4

1. United States – 730 billionaires

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the United States has the most billionaires in the world. Of the 10 richest people in the world, nine are American men. Names such as Elon Musk (the world’s richest person) and Jeff Bezos are household names around the world, thanks to the success of Tesla and Amazon. The founders of tech giants such as Google and Microsoft also make the top 10 list, as does Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.

The US has been one of the world’s richest nations for the last several decades. It has a large economy with strong tourism, banking and services industries. However, much of the wealth has yet to trickle down to the rest of the country. One in eight Americans lives below the poverty line. The US is also the world’s only wealthy economy where paid vacation is optional for employers.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (1) Elon Musk | $220.7 billion | Tesla, SpaceX
  • (3) Jeff Bezos | $159.7 billion | Amazon
  • (4) Larry Ellison | $133.7 billion | Oracle
  • (5) Warren Buffet | $115.3 billion | Berkshire Hathaway
  • (6) Bill Gates | $111.4 billion | Microsoft

2. China – 406

China is one of the most populated countries in the world, with over 1.4 billion people. The country also has an ever-growing economy, with a big focus on low-cost manufacturing and exports.

Four of China’s billionaires rank in the top 40 richest people in the world. Two of these billionaires made their money through online games, while much of Zhang Yiming’s wealth came from ByteDance, which developed the hugely popular TikTok.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (20) Zhong Shanshan | $62.1 billion | Beverages, pharmaceuticals
  • (25) Zhang Yiming | $43.4 billion | TikTok
  • (33) Colin Zheng Huang | $36.3 billion | E-commerce
  • (35) William Ding | $34.2 billion | Online games
  • (39) Ma Huateng | $32.1 billion | Online games

3. India – 174

With 174 billionaires, India has the third-most billionaires in the world. While many billionaires have inherited wealth, others are self-made and have earned their money through industries such as steel, textile, and technology.

Mukesh Ambani, the country’s richest man, earned his billions through a diverse portfolio, including retail and telecommunications. India’s second-richest man, Gautam Adani, made his money from infrastructure and commodities, while Shiv Nadar has his software services to thank.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (12) Mukesh Ambani | $90.1 billion | Diversified
  • (24) Gautam Adani | $50.6 billion | Infrastructure, commodities
  • (46) Shiv Nadar | $29.2 | Software services
  • (63) Savitri Jindal & family | $24.3 billion | Steel
  • (80) Cyrus Poonawalla | $20.3 billion | Vaccines

4. Germany – 117

Europe’s largest collection of billionaires can be found in Germany. The country has one of the largest economies in the world and the largest economy in Europe. Germany’s largest sector is services, contributing 70% to the countryโ€™s GDP.

Germany is home to the world’s richest siblings: Stefan Quandt ($23.5 billion) and Susanne Klatten ($22.6 billion). The pair inherited their wealth from their parents, who left them shares to BMW. Klatten also owns a majority share in pharmaceutical and chemicals manufacturer Altana.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (26) Dieter Schwarz | $41.8 billion | Retail
  • (48) Klaus-Michael Kuehne | $29.0 billion | Shipping
  • (55) Reinhold Wuerth & family | $25.6 billion | Fasteners
  • (69) Stefan Quandt | $23.0 billion | BMW
  • (74) Susanne Klatten | $22.1 billion | BMW, pharmaceuticals

5. Russia – 100

Coming in fifth place is Russia, with 100 billionaires. Russia is the largest country in terms of land area and is often described as an energy superpower. The country has rich reserves of natural gas, coal, and oil.

Russian billionaires have largely made their wealth from their country’s natural reserves. The five richest people in the country own companies that center around the likes of steel, gas, oil, and metals.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (60) Andrey Melnichenko & family | $25.2 billion | Fertilizers, coal
  • (61) Vladimir Lisin | $24.8 billion | Steel, transport
  • (65) Leonid Mikhelson & family | $24.1 billion | Gas, chemicals
  • (67) Vagit Alekperov | $23.7 billion |Oil
  • (73) Vladimir Potanin | $22.3 billion | Metals

6. Hong Kong – 67

Hong Kong’s billionaires have largely made their money from real estate. Of the five richest people in the region, three earned their wealth through this industry. Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Hong Kong, has a diversified portfolio and has invested in a wide range of companies, including transportation and utilities.

Thanks to its proximity to the growing economy of China’s mainland, Hong Kong has fast become a global financial hub. Some of the region’s leading industries include retail, medical services, and technology.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (32) Li Ka-Shing | $36.2 billion | Diversified
  • (50) Lee Shau Kee | $26.8 billion | Real estate
  • (53) Robin Zeng | $26.4 billion | Batteries
  • (133) Peter Woo | $13.1 billion | Real estate
  • (135) Joseph Lau | $13.0 billion | Real estate

7. Italy – 62

Italy’s richest person has a surname that is recognized around the world. Giovanni Ferrero, owner of the confectionery company famed for Nutella and its chocolates, has an estimated net worth of $38.4 billion. Giorgio Armani, another household name, made his billions through his luxury goods company.

Some of Italy’s wealth comes from its gold reserve, which is the third-largest in the world. Italy also has one of the world’s highest wealth-to-income ratios. The country’s thriving industries include high-quality goods, as well as tourism and food products.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (28) Giovanni Ferrero | $38.4 billion | Nutella, chocolates
  • (168) Giorgio Armani | $10.9 billion | Luxury goods
  • (390) Massimiliana Landini Aleotti & family | $6.4 billion | Pharmaceuticals
  • (402) Piero Ferrari | $6.3 billion | Venture capital | Automobiles
  • (410) Sergio Stevanato & family | $6.2 billion | Medical packaging

8. Canada – 61

Canada has a highly developed economy, which largely depends on the country’s natural resources, real estate, and manufacturing. The richest person in Canada, David Thomson, inherited his wealth and family business. Meanwhile, David Cheriton, the second-richest person in the country, is a self-made computer scientist who made an early investment in Google.

Many of Canada’s richest people have earned their billions in the technology and software industries. For example, Changpeng Zhao has made his wealth from Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Cryptocurrencies were only created in 2009, making it one of the newest industries in the world.

Top 5 billionaires

  • (22) David Thomson & family | $53.8 billion | Media
  • (159) David Cheriton | $11.4 billion | Google
  • (178) Changpeng Zhao | $10.2 billion | Cryptocurrency exchange
  • (208) Jim Pattison | $9.3 billion | Diversified
  • (233) Anthony von Mandl | $8.8 billion | Alcoholic beverages

9. Brazil – 55

Brazil’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, manufacturing, and mining. However, three of the richest people in the country have made their riches through beer. Jorge Paulo Lemann and his family have made an estimated $14 billion through his investment in Brazillian breweries. Marcel Herrmann Telles (the fourth-richest man in Brazil) is a board member for AB InBev, which is the world’s largest brewer.

Eduardo Saverin, Brazil’s richest man, is famed as one of the co-founders of Facebook. He met Mark Zuckerberg while the pair were studying at Harvard. Saverin has also invested in a number of other companies, such as Jumio (an online mobile payments company) and Antler (a startup accelerator company).

Top 5 billionaires

  • (93) Eduardo Saverin | $17.5 billion | Facebook
  • (98) Vicky Safra & family | $17.0 billion | Banking
  • (111) Jorge Paulo Lemann & family | $15.1 billion | Beer
  • (181) Marcel Herrmann Telles | $10.1 billion | Beer
  • (259) Carlos Alberto Sicupira & family | $8.2 billion | Beer

10. United Kingdom – 52

The UK has the world’s tenth-highest number of billionaires. However, only one (James Ratcliffe) ranks in the top 100 richest people in the world. Ratcliffe has an estimated net worth of $18.5 billion, which he made through the chemicals and oil industries.

Some of the largest industries in the UK include retail, hospitality, and finance. Although the UK has one of the largest economies in the world, approximately one in five Britons live below the poverty line.

  • (88) James Ratcliffe | $18.5 billion | Chemicals
  • (103) Michael Platt | $16.0 billion | Hedge funds
  • (166) Alexander Gerko | $11.0 billion | Trading
  • (210) James Dyson | $9.3 billion | Vacuums
  • (356) Christopher Hohn | $6.7 billion | Hedge funds
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