There Are Now More Billionaires in Asia Than in the U.S.

October 26, 2017, 6:33 AM UTC

Asia now has the most billionaires in the world, surpassing the U.S. for the first time with a new billionaire minted on average every other day in 2016, according to an annual report by UBS AG (UBS) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS).

Asia saw 117 people break the billion-dollar mark in 2016, bringing the most populous continent’s total to 637. But America’s 563 billionaires still control more total assets at $2.8 trillion, Bloomberg reported. Europe had only three new billionaires in 2016, with its total at 342, according to the report, which tallied data on 1,550 billionaires around the world.

The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires also increased 17% in 2016 to $6 trillion, following a dip in 2015. Much of that growth came in China and India, the source of three-quarters of the world’s new billionaires. Asia’s billionaire growth is also rising faster overall, with the region projected to overtake the U.S. in terms of overall wealth concentration in the next four years, the report said.

“A combination of geopolitical stability in Greater China, rising Chinese real estate prices, infrastructure spending, the growing middle class and buoyant commodity prices all joined together to boost wealth,” the report said.