EMAILED ON May 17, 2018 BY Lindsey Quinn

The world made more billionaires than ever in 2017


The 5th edition of the Wealth-X Billionaire Census dropped this week, and it looks like the super rich are getting super-richer — billionaires’ combined assets increased by 24% to $9.2T.

Meanwhile, the mere very rich are rising in the ranks: about 357 newcomers joined the “tres comma” club last year.

Every time The Bell rings, a billionaire goes “cha-ching”

You know, the Wall Street Bell. It’s a perfect metaphor, people.

The census concludes that “climbing equity markets” caused billionaires to stack cash across all regions — particularly in China, where billionaires’ wealth grew by nearly 36%, crushing the 10% increase stateside (the US still houses the greatest number of billionaires at 680).

As of 2017, just 10 people can claim a $50B+ net worth, while 1.3k plebes sit in the $1-2B tier.

Here are a few of our favorite Big B’s:

  • Top dawg: Fan favorite Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates last year to become the world’s richest person at $133B.
  • World’s first: Ripple made co-founder Chris Larsen the world’s first crypto billionaire last year, briefly skyrocketing him to $60B… before gently drop-kicking him back to a modest $4.6B.
  • Richest-sounding name: Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, 33% owner of cosmetic brand L’Oreal. When your name is 3 things, you know you come from old money. At $48B, she’s also the richest woman in the world.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, lady billionaires grew 18% last year — faster than male billionaires for the first time in the history of the census.