The number of billionaires and their total wealth shrunk in 2018 according to the 2019 Forbes World’s Billionaires list.
Forbes which released the list on Tuesday attributes the shrinking numbers to economic forces and weak stock markets.
“By our latest count there are 2,153 billionaires, 55 fewer than a year ago. Of those, a record 994, or 46 per cent, are poorer (relatively speaking) than they were last year. In total, the ultra-rich are worth USD8.7 trillion, down USD400 billion from 2018,” Forbes said.
“11 per cent of last year’s list members, or 247 people, dropped out of the ranks, the most since 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis,” it added.
Some regions saw the most significant drop in the number of billionaires than others with Asia-Pacific having 60 fewer 10-figure fortunes. China was the hardest hit and now has 49 billionaires than in 2018.
Americas rivatalised with Brazil, and the U.S. are the only two regions that have more billionaires in the list than they did last year.
U.S. now has a record of 607 billionaires that includes 14 of the world’s 20 richest with Jeff Bezos coming first and Bill Gates at number 2.
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