The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented suffering to many people in the world. You would think that everyone got affected but interestingly some blossomed even more during this phase. It is reported that the total number of billionaires in the world has gone up by 30 per cent during this pandemic period. In other words, the wealthy are getting wealthier. In this article, I shall share with you some interesting statistics regarding billionaires in the world. The combined total of all billionaires’ net worth is now a staggering US$13.1 trillion (in 2020 it was around US$8 trillion). In total there are now 2755 billionaires in the world. In summary, it is being said that every 17 hours, a new billionaire is birthed. Actually, in 2020 it is reported that there were 3 new billionaires every 2 days.

Why Though?

There is no question as to why billionaires, particularly those from the US have scored bigger due to the pandemic. Some of the reasons have to do with some emergency response decisions that were enacted in the US. That was generally also the case in many other countries. There was also an increased interest in the purchasing of equity in tech and healthcare companies. This significantly increased their stock value which meant more wealth for several entrepreneurs. If you closely look at the gainers you will notice that their enterprises are related to business services that became more sought after because of the pandemic. I can also attribute the decline in competition for most businesses since many went out of business altogether.

Countries Topping The Charts Globally

The US comfortably sits at the top with 724 billionaires. Second, placed is China with 698 billionaires. In Hong Kong alone there are now 71 billionaires. I guess it is safe to say these are the superpowers of the world. No wonder there is always a stand-off between these two nations. Third-placed is India with 140 billionaires, number 4 in Germany with 136 and number 5 is Russia with 117 billionaires.

2011 Versus 2021

In exploring the past decade it is clear that the number of billionaires has been consistently going up. Let us look at the different regions, comparing 2011 and 2021:

Region 20112021
(No. Of Billionaires)(No. Of Billionaires)
Middle East & Africa8985
The Americas76169
United States413724

The number of billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region has surged by 817 in the past decade. As for the Middle East and Africa region, the number has actually gone down by 4. That is the only region where the numbers have gone down.

New Billionaires And Combined Net Worth

In 2002 there were only 28 new billionaires and their combined net worth was US$39.2 billion. Fast forward to 2021, the number of new billionaires (since last year) is 493 and their combined net worth is US$974.4 billion.

Billionaires And How They Became Billionaires

The subject of being a self-made billionaire or millionaire is an interesting one. I recall a time when Kylie Jenner became a billionaire and she was being labelled a self-made billionaire by some big media outlet. The issue sparked a conversation on social media that raged on for quite a while. Most people were heavily opposed to her being labelled a self-made billionaire. Like I said it is an interesting discussion, anyways let us dig into these stats:

I will compare 2001 against 2011 and 2021, essentially the past 2 decades.

Total Number Of Billionaires

Inherited & Growing147220499

Combined Net Worth

Inherited & Growing452.5904.62313


The evolution the world has gone through is an interesting one when you look through the years. In 1987 the world’s wealthiest person was Yoshiaki Tsutsumi who at the time has a net worth of US$20 billion. Come 2021, right now the wealthiest person in the world is Jeff Bezos with a net worth of US$177 billion. On the 8th of March, I did an article on Why African Billionaires are not emerging from agriculture. It is an interesting read; kindly check it out here. It is also important to note that many billionaires did fall off the billionaires’ list. The pandemic not only meant gains but also meant huge losses for some.