The Billionaires Club Lost 283 Members Last Year
The world’s billionaires club was missing a few members in 2016.
The billionaire population took a hit last year, dropping 3.1% to 2,397 from the 2015 record high; 283 people lost their billionaire status, while the ten-figure club welcomed 207 new members.
According to CNN, which cites a new Wealth X report, this is the first annual drop since the financial crisis. But despite the decrease, those 2,397 billionaires still represent a whopping $7.4 trillion of wealth.
The Asia-Pacific region saw the most prominent decline, CNN reports—about 7% of its billionaires were lost in 2016. Hong Kong also was hit, with 19% of billionaires there losing their status. And in Russia, according to CNN, the number decreased by 15%.
On the flip side, the billionaires club in the Americas saw a 2% increase—with the United States seeing the most growth, at 6%. A strong dollar and stock market are both to thank for the spike, according to CNN. The Middle East also saw an increase—its billionaire population rose by 1.8%.
Overall, the U.S., China, Germany, Russia and the U.K. have the most billionaires.
Separately, Forbes released a list of the world’s wealthiest women this week. For the second year in a in the row, French heiress Liliane Bettencourt snagged the No. 1 spot. Bettencourt, who owns a third of the cosmetic company L’Oreal (which her father founded in 1907), has a net worth of $39.5 billion—making the 94 year-old the richest woman in the world. Bettencourt is followed by Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and Jacqueline Mars, the granddaughter of the candy maker Frank Mars. Walton has a net worth of $33.8 billion, and Mars of $27 billion.