The World’s Billionaires, by Generation
What similarities do the world’s billionaires share? What are their differences?
At the age of 12, Elon Musk built his first video game. Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg shared an interest in computer programming, building a simple messaging platform at the same age. The co-founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, developed programming skills at college. All three span different generations and made their fortunes in tech.
In this infographic from BusinessFinancing.co.uk, we explore some characteristics of billionaires across generations, including their average net worth, top sectors, number of children, and most common city of residence.
The World’s Billionaires, by Generation
Using data from Forbes here is how each generation of the world’s billionaires break down.
- Born: 1928-1945
- Average Net Worth: $5.5 billion
- Most Popular Residence: New York, U.S.
Silent Generation billionaires are the wealthiest on average across generations. With CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett and Zara founder Amancio Ortega among its ranks, Silent Generation billionaires are most likely to be in finance, fashion, and real estate industries.
|1||Finance & Investments||15.5%|
|2||Fashion & Retail||12.4%|
|4||Food & Beverage||9.0%|
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who owns The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and The New York Post, is also part of this group. He has a net worth of $13 billion.
- Born: 1946-1964
- Average Net Worth: $4.6 billion
- Most Popular Residence: New York, U.S.
Like the Silent Generation, billionaire Boomers are most likely to be in finance. Stephen Schwarzman, founder of private equity firm Blackstone Group, R. Budi Hartono, the richest person in Indonesia, and Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater Associates, all fall into this generation.
Boomer billionaires are much less likely to be in the tech industry, though Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have amassed their fortunes in this area.
|1||Finance & Investments||14.2%|
|3||Fashion & Retail||10.6%|
With a net worth of $150 billion, LVMH chair Bernard Arnault is the second richest person in the world. Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, vice-chairwoman of L’Oreal, ranks 12th. Both fashion conglomerates are based in France and helmed by billionaire Boomers.
- Born: 1965-1980
- Average Net Worth: $4.4 billion
- Most popular Residence: Beijing, China
The world’s billionaires in Gen X are not only predominantly in tech, but are most likely to live in Beijing, China. Ma Huateng, founder of social media conglomerate Tencent Holdings, created instant messaging platform QQ in his early 20s. Colin Huang built one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms, Pinduoduo, in 2015.
|3||Finance & Investments||11.6%|
|5||Fashion & Retail||7.6%|
Gen X billionaires also include Elon Musk and Google co-founder Larry Page.
- Born: 1981-1996
- Average Net Worth: $5.1 billion
- Most Popular Residence: San Francisco, U.S.
With the second-highest average net worth after the Silent Generation, millennial billionaires are seen predominantly in tech and finance. Roughly 100 billionaires worldwide fall into this category overall.
Mark Zuckerberg is the only millennial billionaire among the top 10 richest globally.
|2||Finance & Investments||12.9%|
|3||Fashion & Retail||8.6%|
|4||Media & Entertainment||8.6%|
Brian Chesky (co-founder of Airbnb), Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel (co-founders of Snapchat), and Swiss billionaire Guillaume Pousaz are all part of this billionaire cohort.
What other trends are seen across the world’s billionaires?
|Silent Generation Billionaires||Baby Boomer Billionaires||Generation X Billionaires||Millennial Billionaires|
|Living Outside the U.S.||61.9%||73.2%||81.8%||65.5%|
Millennial billionaires are the most likely to be women, with roughly double the rate of all other generations at 19%. Notable billionaire women include Anna Kasprzak, who co-owns Danish shoe company ECCO and Brazil’s Anne-Marie Werninghaus.
Self-made billionaires are most likely to be Gen X. Over 80% of billionaires are in this category, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Mu Rongjun, co-founder of Meituan, a company similar to Yelp. At the same time, the most billionaires living outside of the U.S. (81%) were born in this generation.
Billionaire Boomers are most likely to be married. The Silent Generation, meanwhile, are most likely to be U.S. citizens, with hedge fund manager George Soros and the world’s oldest billionaire, George Joseph (100) who founded insurance firm Mercury General, in this set.
Notable exceptions include Robert Kuok (98), the richest person in Malaysia, and Masatoshi Ito (97), chair of Japan’s largest retailer.
Mapped: The Migration of the World’s Millionaires in 2023
Where do the world’s wealthiest people want to live? This map tracks the migration of the world’s High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs).
Mapping the Migration of the World’s Millionaires 2023
Just like everyone else, High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) traveled less than usual during the pandemic, and as a result their migration numbers trended downwards. But millionaires and billionaires are on the move again and it is anticipated that 122,000 HNWIs will move to a new country by the end of the year.
Henley & Partners’ Private Wealth Migration Report has tracked the countries HNWIs have moved from and to over the last 10 years; this map showcases the 2023 forecasts.
In this context, HNWIs are defined as individuals with a net worth of at least $1 million USD.
The Countries Welcoming New Millionaires
The top 10 countries which are likely to become home to the highest number of millionaires and billionaires in 2023 are scattered across the globe, with Australia reclaiming its top spot this year from the UAE.
Here’s a closer look at the data:
|Rank||Country||Projected HNWI Inflow 2023|
|10||🇳🇿 New Zealand||700|
Only two Asian countries make the top 10, with the rest spread across Europe, North America, and Oceania.
Despite historic economic challenges, Greece is projected to gain 1,200 High Net Worth Individuals this year. One reason could be the country’s golden visa program, wherein wealthy individuals can easily obtain residence and eventually EU passports for the right price—currently a minimum real estate investment cost of 250,000 euros is all that’s required.
Many of the leading millionaire destinations are attractive for wealthy individuals because of higher levels of economic freedom, allowing for laxer tax burdens or ease of investment. Singapore, which expects to gain 3,200 millionaires, is the most economically free market in the world.
The Countries Losing the Most Millionaires
China is anticipated to lose 13,500 High Net Worth Individuals this year, more than double as many as the second place country, India (6,500).
Here’s a closer look at the bottom 10:
|Rank||Country||Projected HNWI Outflow 2023|
|6||🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR||-1,000|
|7||🇰🇷 South Korea||-800|
|9||🇿🇦 South Africa||-500|
In a number of these countries, strict regulatory bodies and corrupt governments can hinder the ease with which HNWIs can manage their own money.
In Russia, many wealthy individuals are facing personal tariffs and trade restrictions from Western countries due to the war in Ukraine. China’s crackdowns on Hong Kong have made it a less attractive place for business. And finally, the UK’s exit from the EU has caused many businesses and individuals to lose the easy movement of labor, finances, and investment that made operations across European borders seamless.
Some of these countries may still be adding homegrown millionaires and billionaires, but losing thousands of HNWIs to net migration does have a considerable economic impact.
Overall, millionaires are increasingly on the move. In the 10 years of reporting—despite a dip during the pandemic—the number of HNWIs moving away from their countries of origin has been growing every year.
Here’s a look at the numbers:
|Year||Projected HNWI Migration|
In a geopolitically fragile but more connected world, it’s no surprise to see millionaires voting with their feet. As a result, governments are increasingly in competition to win the hearts and minds of the world’s economic elite to their side.
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