These days it seems as if wealthy people are everywhere. And thanks to the pandemic, that may be partly true. A 2022 Oxfam study showed that 573 people became new billionaires during the pandemic — equivalent to one every 30 hours — and their wealth increased more during the first year than in 23 years combined.
Today, there are 2,640 billionaires in the world with a combined net worth of $12.2 trillion. There are billionaires that inherited their wealth, but a majority are self-made. For those that earned their wealth, they often attribute their success to visionary thinking, calculated risk-taking, and persevering in the face of challenges and setbacks.
As the number of billionaires continues to rise, what are other traits and commonalities billionaires share? Here are seven stats on billionaires that most people don’t know.
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The Statistics on Billionaires
What does your typical billionaire look like? While there’s no “one size fits all,” there are key characteristics that define a billionaire.
1. The majority are male. While the number of female billionaires rose slightly in 2023, men still make up the majority. Why is that? The debate continues, but two reasons may be that women may have a harder time finding capital or investment in their start-ups, and often lack the financial network that men have.
2. Most are self-made. Considering that entrepreneurship is on the rise, it’s no surprise that most billionaires are self-made, with the majority making their wealth in technology.
3. Most have a bachelor’s degree. Although few billionaires went on to obtain master’s degrees or PhD’s, 70% have a bachelor’s degree.
4. Many are in their sixties. The average age of male billionaires is 63.2, with the average age of female billionaires coming in at 62.2.
5. They’re married. More than 85% of billionaires are married, with males making up 88%. However, the marriage rate for female billionaires is much lower at 62%.
6. They’re passionate about charity. For many billionaires, philanthropy is close to their heart. Famous billionaires like Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet have even pledged to give away more than half their wealth.
7. They love the finer things. The second and third most important interests of billionaires are travel and art. 31% say travel is a passion, while a close 29% say it’s art.
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What it Takes to be a Millionaire
For most of us, becoming a billionaire is out of reach. But it’s not too late to become a first-time millionaire or a HNWI (High Net Worth Individual). A millionaire is someone with a net worth of $1 million, and a HNWI is someone with $1M in liquid assets. These levels of wealth are attainable with long-term investment strategies and help from an experienced financial advisor.
According to Beltway Insider, the average age of millionaires is 37. But don’t worry if you’ve passed that age without becoming one. As those billionaire stats show, with saving and investing smartly, you can grow your portfolio at any stage of life.
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