The health crisis has boosted the number of billionaires in 2020

Posted on Sep 21, 2021 at 7:43 PM

For the first time, the world has more than 3,000 billionaires. That is an increase of 13.9% in 2020 compared to 2019, we learn in a new report from the research firm Wealth-X, published in mid-September. Their total fortune soared to $ 10,000 billion, an increase of 5.7%. Historical figures which stem in large part from the pandemic, estimates the report.

Because if the Covid-19 crisis has had a dramatic effect on the worsening of poverty everywhere in the world, it has, conversely, “offered an opportunity to billionaires”. Their fortunes having been “boosted” by the “huge monetary stimulus measures of the world central banks” and the “swelling of profits in key sectors which gave birth to a new wave of younger and self-made billionaires”, we can read in the document. The health and technology sectors are primarily affected.

Almost half of the fortunes of the richest fifteen billionaires come from the technology sector. Their activities have benefited from the “rapid digitization of the world economy and gains in scalability,” the report said. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tops the world rankings, ahead of Elon Musk, Frenchman Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

Strong growth in Asia

Unbeatable, North America confirms its status as “the world’s top billionaire region in 2020”, which represents 30.6% of the world’s billionaires. It has 980 super rich (927 in the United States and 53 in Canada), an increase of 17.5% compared to the previous year, estimates the research firm.

Asia follows North America, marked by a 16.5% increase in its billionaire population, to 883 individuals. Their cumulative wealth increased 7.5% to $ 2.6 billion. Strong gains in wealth linked to the “technology and health care” sectors, which have been able to develop in a context of ultra-strict health policy. “This allowed for a faster economic rebound,” the report notes. France had 64 billionaires in 2020, up 6.7%.

Robot portrait of the “new billionaires”

The report paints a sketch of the 670 new entrants – a record figure – in the world ranking of billionaires for 2020. The “new billionaires” are therefore younger, less rich (their wealth amounts to an average of 1.4 billion euros). dollars, compared to 1.9 for the overall average), and include a “higher proportion of entrepreneurs who focus slightly more on the tech and health sectors than the rest of the billionaire population,” the document describes.

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