Hennessy’s Index: December 2014


Hennessy's Index

Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit: http://policyalternatives.ca/index

  • 1

There is one billionaire for every three million people in the world.

  • 2,325

Number of billionaires in the world in 2014 – a 7 per cent increase since last year and it represents an all-time record high. They control nearly 4 per cent of the world’s wealth.

  • $7.3 trillion (U.S.)

Combined worth of the world’s billionaires in 2014 – up 12 per cent since last year. That’s higher than the market capitalization of all the companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

  • 25

Percentage of the world’s billionaires living in the United States. It’s the country with the most billionaires – 571 of them.

  • 38

Number of billionaires in Canada in 2014. That’s one more billionaire than a year ago. Their combined wealth is $105 billion (U.S.)

  • 1

Among the top 10 cities for North America’s billionaires, only one is in Canada: Toronto. There are 10 billionaires in Toronto. Meanwhile, New York remains the top city for the world’s billionaires. There are 103 of them in New York. 

  • 63 

The average billionaire is 63 years old. Almost half of the world’s billionaires are over the age of 65 and are looking at wealth preservation, rather than more wealth accumulation. 

  • 40 

Percentage of the world’s male billionaires who got there through the gift of inheritance or a combination of inheritance and their own activity. The rest are totally ‘self-made’. 

  • Top 5 

The top 5 industries for male billionaires: finance, banking & investment; industrial conglomerates; real estate; manufacturing; textiles, apparel & luxury goods. 

  • 286

Number of the world’s billionaires who are women – 12.3 per cent of all billionaires. 

  • 79 

Percentage of women billionaires who got there through the gift of inheritance. Interestingly, 14.7 per cent of women billionaires work in non-profit or social organizations. 

  • 11 

Percentage of the world’s male billionaires who are eligible. The vast majority are married. Meanwhile, 35 per cent of the world’s female billionaires are eligible. 

  • 51.9 

Percentage of billionaires who engage in philanthropy. 

  • 4,100 

The most bullish prediction of the number of billionaires in the world by 2020. That would represent a 78 per cent increase over the number of billionaires today. 

Source: billionairecensus.com

December 1, 2014