Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Asian Billionaires Now Outnumber Those In North America

March 4, 2013 by  

Asian Billionaires Now Outnumber Those In North America

Chinese luxe finance magazine The Hurun Report revealed last week that more billionaires hail from Asia than from North America, a first since the publication was founded in 1999.

In Asia, 608 individuals have a net worth in excess of $1 billion (all figures are adjusted to U.S. dollars), followed by North America with 440 and Europe with 324.

The U.S. still has more billionaires — 409 — than any other country, followed distantly by China, whose 317 billionaires make up just more than half of all those throughout Asia. But Asia’s diverse and burgeoning economies have produced more newly rich individuals, nearly all of whom have made their own fortunes.

That’s a contrast with Europe — where a disproportionate amount of billionaires’ wealth is generational and inherited — and with North America, whose billionaires have found varying paths to fortune.

All of China’s billionaires have become wealthy in their own lifetimes through real estate transactions. Noting the trend reflects “the [Chinese] urbanization boom of the last generation,” Hurun reports seven of the world’s top 10 real estate billionaires reside either in Hong Kong or in China.

With 76 billionaires (every one of them self-made), Moscow is home to more than any other world city, including second-place New York, which has 70. Like the rest of Asia, a significant portion of Russia’s wealthiest residents have ties to real estate, along with manufacturing and energy.

Most European billionaires are either majority owners of industrial or retail concerns, or scions of luxury fashion brands: Louis Vuitton, Hermes, BMW and Patek Philippe, to sample a (very) few. Of the 31 billionaires worldwide whose wealth was made in luxury goods, only seven reside outside Europe. Two more brands — DeBeers and Cartier, both South African — deliver diamonds, a “luxury commodity” with close ties to the European luxury market. A third, the OCTEA mining group, is based in Israel.

Americans who top the list generated their money primarily through investments; technology, media and telecommunications; and the retail market. Berkshire Hathaway primary shareholder Warren Buffett remained the richest man in the United States (second worldwide), followed by Microsoft’s Bill Gates (fourth worldwide).

Mexican investor and diversified shareholder Carlos Slim remained the richest man in the world, with a personal fortune worth an estimated $66 billion.

The United States remains atop the billionaire list in another aspect: combined wealth. The 409 American billionaires on the Hurun list retain a total net worth of $1.712 trillion. Hurun did not disclose a researched figure for the combined wealth of billionaires in second-place China.

Chinese ambition fuels the publication’s interest in compiling the list, with Hurun Report Chairman and founder Rupert Hoogewerf noting that “China’s entrepreneurs want to see the global context of their recent success. This is why Hurun Report, a media headquartered in Shanghai, China, has set out on this quest to track down and rank the world’s billionaires.”

Interestingly, the publication freely admits it hasn’t succeeded in enumerating every billionaire worldwide, with Hoogewerf estimating there may be twice as many as were listed in this year’s Hurun Report list.

View the complete list as well as supporting statistics and billionaire demographics here.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Asian Billionaires Now Outnumber Those In North America”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • GALT

    Well, Mr Bullard we start off with an interesting distinction with the use of the
    words “self made”?

    How were you intending that to be understood? How will your audience understand
    your use of those words?

    I wonder if many will know that the actual meaning is NOT INHERITED?

    Given the ignorance and lack of historical understanding, we wouldn’t want
    the other possible interpretation to magically be assumed, now would we?

    Because it would be neither TRUE nor ACCURATE, and while Brian Nash, didn’t
    set a very high bar where journalistic integrity is concerned…. as a
    [insult removed] writer we wouldn’t want you to get off on the wrong foot?

    “To conquer, first DIVIDE!” ( and then HANG, separately. )

    • GALT

      Also, your source cites 5 billionaires in the top ten and states they
      are all self made………which would be incorrect.

      The Koch family (pron.: /ˈkoʊk/ kohk) of industrialists and businessmen is most notable for its control of Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States.[1] The family business was started by Fred C. Koch, who developed a new cracking method for the refinement of heavy oil into gasoline.[2][3] Fred’s four sons litigated against each other over their interests in the business during the 1980s and 1990s.[4]

      • GALT

        Finally, just for a little “journalistic” fun……….the last entry provides a clue, to
        the “motivation” for the XL Pipeline.

        Which is for the benefit of Koch Brother’s and no one else……the jobs
        will be temporary, the dangers great, and the “refined product” will
        be shipped overseas, where the money is.

        Right now, they do not have a source of “heavy crude” because Chavez
        won’t sell to them……..and without the pipeline, the oil is landlocked and
        we get the benefit…….because the end product is sold here.

        For those thinking the pipeline will lower prices, think again. Have a nice day.

    • GALT

      So Bob… found the use of the word “staph”…… be “insulting”?

      Sounds like a “talent” problem………

  • Hedgehog

    GALT; I’m curious, what is the significance of the symbol in the upper right hand corner of your posts? Since the symbol is in red, I presume it’s some kind of warning, but what are you warning us about?

    • GALT

      The symbol is the one for Bio-Hazards…….specific warnings are to be found
      in the content of the individuals posts.

      • Right Brain Thinker

        I have always thought of it as a general statement by GALT that………


        ………but I may be projecting my own thinking there.

        It certainly adds a little color and “visual design classiness” to the site.

        PS Did Anyone watch 60 MInutes last night? Very interesting segment on the housing bubble in China.

      • GALT

        The one where they have four completely built “unoccupied cities”?

        Wealth is an illusion!

      • Hedgehog

        Thanks GALT!

      • Right Brain Thinker

        You ask—-The one where they have four completely built “unoccupied cities”?

        Yes, although the number of completely built but unoccupied cities may have been more like 20+. Wealth certainly is an illusion for the Chinese middle class, who have fueled the boom by buying multiple apartments and condos because they are not allowed to invest in other things. Prices have quadrupled and more but it doesn’t appear to be sustainable—-all the housing units in those unoccupied cities ARE owned, but the poor folks from the country who are supposed to move in and fill them can’t afford to do so.. When the bubble bursts, the “investors” are not going to lose one home, but many. The program talked about some families investing the accumulated wealth of three and four living generations in housing.

  • Jeanette

    Good heavens – Asia has what population (China alone has more than a billion people) yet we are only 168 billionaires behind them? We are doing spectacularly, on a per capita basis.

    What we need to watch is the trend … and the trend doesn’t appear to be our friend.

  • ibcamn

    All on the backs of slave labor!

    They are buying up anything they can put into their portfolio to make them look better and richer!

  • Jana

    Its funny, on this very site there is a picture of Obama with the caption under it that says : One new law that will kill your wealth.
    Too funny. All of his actions have been to kill the wealth of this country. That is his purpose. He is succeeding.

    • Deerinwater

      He did not cause or create a Sluggish US economy Janna. ~While he might well have saved the world economy.

      As he honored Wall Streets bogus misrepresented products sales to foreign investors. If he’d just concerned himself with US economic and allowed Europe to go down the tube, we would have most likely followed shortly.

      Why such a short memory Janna?

      “Between 2000 and 2008, economic regulation in the United States saw the most rapid expansion since the early 1970s.[170] The number of new pages in the Federal Registry, a proxy for economic regulation, rose from 64,438 new pages in 2001 to 78,090 in new pages in 2007, a record amount of regulation.[170] Economically significant regulations, defined as regulations which cost more than $100 million a year, increased by 70%.[170] Spending on regulation increased by 62% from $26.4 billion to $42.7 billion.[170]

      Main article: Taxation in the United States
      Taxation in the United States is a complex system which may involve payment to at least four different levels of government and many methods of taxation. Taxes are levied by the federal government, by the state governments, and often by local governments, which may include counties, municipalities, township, school districts, and other special-purpose districts, which include fire, utility, and transit districts.

      “As of January 20, 2009, the total U.S. federal debt was $10.627 trillion.[175] The borrowing-cap debt ceiling as of 2005 stood at $8.18 trillion.

      [176] In March 2006, Congress raised that ceiling an additional $0.79 trillion to $8.97 trillion, which is approximately 68% of GDP.[177]

      Congress has used this method to deal with an encroaching debt ceiling in previous years, as the federal borrowing limit was raised in 2002 and 2003.

      178] As of October 4, 2008, the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008″ raised the current debt ceiling to US$ 11.3 trillion.[179]

      The federal government’s debt rose by $1.09 trillion in 2012,[14] and now stands at $16.158 trillion.[

      12] While the U.S. public debt is the world’s largest in absolute size, another measure is its size relative to the nation’s GDP. As of October 2012 the debt was 100.4% of GDP.

      [34] This debt, as a percent of GDP, is still less than the debt of Japan (192%) (the overwhelming number of owners of JGBs are Japanese)[180] and roughly equivalent to those of a few western European nations”

  • Uknowho

    So… we should be more like Asia?

    Unions are outlawed… You try and unionize you get thrown in prison for 10 years.
    The Gov does the big businesses bidding, workers have little power
    The avg worker makes a fraction of what workers get paid here, dangerous working condition, unfettered polution

    Kinda like the conservative utopia.

    No thank you.

    Very educational

  • ranger09

    Dumb Poor working people all around the world, And i do include the USA.

  • GALT

    Understanding your future…….and it is NOT limited to this

    Watch both parts….part two is to the right.

  • Bob666

    Asia will own us or have a majoriety stake pretty soon and we let it happen.


    It kind of makes you wonder if these Asian billionaires are the ones who are pulling the marionette strings of President Scarecrow.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.