The US was the only region in the world where the number of billionaires grew in 2018, according to wealth data and research house Wealth-X.
In the group’s annual Billionaire Census report, it said that North America was the only region to record an increase in billionaire population with a 3% rise.
Whereas Asia-Pacific, posted the largest decline in 2018 (13.4%). In 2017, Asia-Pacific led the charge for billionaire population growth. In the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, the number of billionaires dropped by 5%.There was a modest expansion of the billionaire class in the Americas (+1%), in which Wealth-X says was driven by an increase in North America.
Globally, there was a 5.4% decline in the number of billionaires with 2,604 individuals. This is only the second time this population has dropped since the global recession a decade ago. Meanwhile, the collective wealth of global billionaires fell by 7% in the last year after reaching record levels the previous year.
“Many global factors contributed to this fall in global wealth, including a slowdown in global growth, persistent trade tensions and a late-year slump in equity markets,” said Wealth-X. “A related strengthening of the US dollar encouraged capital outflows from emerging markets, triggering currency volatility and risk aversion.”