Top of the Upper Class: 155 New Billionaires Minted in 2014

Few people of color: 2 are African American and several hail from Africa

(Image: Thinkstock)

The global economic recovery is fragile at best, but that didn’t stop 155 new faces from graduating at the top of their respective industries.

A new survey, the Wealth X and UBS Billionaire Census, reveals that 155 brand-new billionaires were minted this year, a 7.1% increase from 2013. This year’s census saw the addition of 500 new billionaires although the net gain from 2013 was 155 billionaires.

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An impressive 57 new billionaires were minted in the U.S. this year, with 52 from Asia and 42 from Latin America and the Caribbean.

It brings the people with a net worth of $1 billion to 2,325, the highest number of billionaires ever recorded. Their combined net worth? A whopping $7.3 trillion.

Wealth-X tells Black Enterprise, “Our data shows that only two out of 571 billionaires in America are African Americans. As the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 is a global macro study on this wealth segment, we do not provide names of individuals.”

They also tells us, these two billionaires were not minted in 2014 (i.e. they became billionaires prior to 2014).

But according to Forbes, Basketball superstar and entrepreneur Michael Jordan is reportedly the only newly minted African American billionaire.

According to Forbes, Jordan, who is also the only African American NBA team majority owner, joined the billionaires club after increasing his stake in the Charlotte Hornets to “89.5% from 80% over the past several months.”

This suggests apart from Media Queen, Oprah Winfrey, Jordan, is the only other African American on the list.

Other global billionaires of color who made the cut include Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and Folorunsho Alakija, Sudanese born telecom mogul Mo Ibrahim, South African mining giant Patrice Motsepe, and Angola’s Isabel Dos Santos.

Also of note, Dos Santos, Winfrey and Alakija are the only black female billionaires on record.

M.J. may have retired as a ballplayer, but he’s still not done breaking NBA records. He’s now reportedly the first NBA player to be worth a billion bucks.

Dr. Dre came knocking, but he’s still reportedly a couple of hundred million dollars away from kicking in the door.

Here’s the breakdown from the Wealth-X billionaire census.

  • 609 billionaires are in North America with a combined net worth of $2,371 billion. 560 billionaires are in Asia. They’re worth $1,410 billion.
  • The Middle East has 154 billionaires who have collectively racked up $413 billion. Latin America and the Caribbean have 153 billionaires with $511 billion banked and Africa has 40 in the billionaire club worth $114 billion.
  • Europe has the largest number with 775 billionaires worth $2,375 billion. Go figure. However, the United States has the most billionaires of any one country. The number of people in the U.S. in the top-tier segment of the world’s ultra-affluent comes to 571.
  • China has 190 billionaires, the United Kingdom has 130, Germany has 123, and Russia rounds out the top five with 114.
  • New York has the most billionaires of any city, but according to the survey, eight of the world’s top 20 billionaire cities are in Asia.
  • Most of the billionaires, 26.8%, are ages 55 – 64.
  • 25% are between the ages of 65 and 74. Only 1% are younger than 35.

Check out more about the findings on the next page…

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