Billionaires’ Wealth Doubled Despite Financial Crisis, Report Finds

A new report shows billionaires’ wealth has doubled in the years since 2009, despite an apparent economic downturn. In the past four years of worldwide financial crisis billionaires’ combined wealth went from $3.1 trillion to a whopping $6.5 trillion. In 2012 alone, the ultra-rich gained an additional $226 billion to their piles of wealth.

According to Epoch Times, today’s combined billionaire wealth exceeds that of all countries, except China and the United States. As reported by The Inquisitr before, Bill Gates reclaimed his title as the wealthiest man in the US this year. He is one of four people called “mega-billionaires,” which also include Carlos Slim, Amancio Ortega Gaona, and Warren Buffet.

These new findings come from the recent Wealth X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013. As RT points out, the doubled billionaire wealth could, in theory, fund the entire US budged deficit up to 2024. The largest share of this new wealth, 17 percent, was generated from the previously ailing banking and financial sector. Manufacturing accounted for about eight percent of the wealth growth.

Perhaps the most interesting figure to come from the report is the number of people who have become billionaires since 2009. This has more than doubled, going from 810 to 2,170 billionaires in the world. The United States is home to 515 of these billionaires, claiming the highest number of ultra-rich citizens in the world. Together, they have wealth valued at more than $2 trillion, claiming nearly a third of the world’s billionaire wealth. China, Germany, and the United Kingdom follow after the US in their number of billionaire citizens.

Of the 2,170 billionaires in the world, 87 percent are men. Aside from being male, the average billionaire is 67-years-old and worth $3 billion. About 18 percent of that is liquid.

What do the world’s ultra-wealthy elite do with all that pocket change? While many people around the world are “tightening their belts,” the billionaires’ wealth doubling has not hindered their extravagant expenditures. As the report found, on average, billionaires have spent $22 million on yachts, followed by an average $16 million on private planes.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons / World Economic Forum]