State-of-the-art mansions, private beachside properties, exclusive islands and opulent penthouses boasting million-dollar views are a few of the abodes that come to mind when you think about where billionaires might live.
But which countries are attracting the majority of the world’s richest people?
In Forbes’ annual Rich List, it revealed the wealthiest people across the globe for 2020, including where they call home.
The report found there are 2,095 billionaires on the planet, a figure down from 2,153 last year – proving that even the wealthiest aren’t immune to the financial effects of the novel coronavirus.
With many of the most financially fortunate people living in Europe, the US and China – all mega hotspots for COVID-19 cases – this is where the world’s billionaires choose as their home base.
Countries with the most billionaires for 2020*
- The US
- Hong Kong
- The UK
Counting 614 billionaires, the US has the highest number of billionaires in the world including the richest person in the world – Jeff Bezos.
The record-breaking figure is up by seven people from last year despite a collective global drop in wealth. This means they have a combined US$2.9 trillion fortune in the US alone, which is down from US$3.1 trillion in 2019.
Among these US billionaires is the wealthiest family in the world, the Waltons.
Also breaking records, China reportedly has 389 billionaires – the highest number ever for the Asian nation.
Up from 324 billionaires in 2019, China’s richest person is Jack Ma who has amassed a US$38.8 billion fortune after co-founding the Alibaba Group.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak starting in Wuhan, China, it was the only country in the top 10 to see a rise in collective billionaire wealth.
The European nation is down by seven from last year, but Germany still has the third highest number of billionaires.
Its wealthiest people are Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr. – the heirs to Aldi. After taking over the family grocery store following World War II, the children of Aldi Co-Founder Karl Albrecht Sr are now worth US$33.3 billion.
Other notable businesspeople based in Germany are Dieter Schwarz of Kaufland and Lidl, Susanne Klatten of BMW and Walter PJ Droege of Droege Group.
Collectively the richest people in India have a net wealth of US$313 billion, down US$93 billion since 2019.
With 102 billionaires, the richest person in India is business magnate Mukesh Ambani who has an estimated US$36.8 billion to his name.
Others included in the pool of wealth are Shiv Nadar, Uday Kotak and Gautam Adani.
Russia is home to 99 billionaires in 2020, just shy of its previous year’s count of 100.
The total net worth of the Eastern European nation’s wealthiest people is US$385 billion with Vladimir Potanin the richest in the land.
Having acquired a stake in Norilsk Nickel in 1995, Potanin now owns more than a third of the empire.
Although an autonomous territory of China, Hong Kong is the motherland to 66 billionaires this year.
They have a collective worth of US$300 billion, led by the richest person Lee Shau Kee with US$28.1 billion.
The business founder is a rags-to-riches success. Having grown up in a poor family, Lee Shau Kee co-founded property developer Sun Hung Kai before becoming one of the country’s leading property tycoons.
Joseph Safra, who is the richest banker in the world, is also the richest person in Brazil and one of 45 billionaires in the nation.
Brazil’s billionaires are collectively worth US$127 billion, which is US$53 less than in 2019.
While Safra leads those most wealthy, many of the billionaires have found fortune through beer and investment ventures.
It may be home to the British monarchy, but the UK also boasts 45 billionaires.
The Hinduja brothers are the richest people in the UK where the four siblings – Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash, Ashok – built their fortune from the multinational conglomerate Hinduja Group.
Among the richest individuals are James Dyson, James Ratcliff and Michael Platt.
With a collective fortune of US$143 billion, Canada has 44 billionaires living within its borders.
David Thomson and family are the richest of the country with US$31.6 billion. They made their wealth from a media and publishing empire founded by David’s grandfather Roy Thomson.
The country’s total number of billionaires is down by one from 2019.
Synonymous with the luxury fashion industry, it’s only fitting that LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and his family are the richest in France.
The Arnault empire is worth US$76 billion and is one of 39 billionaires in the European nation.
While the total net worth of France is US$304 billion, it’s down US$26 billion on last year.
*according to Forbes