Forbes Magazine has released it’s 2011 list of billionaires. While it’s certainly interesting to see who is richest, I wanted to look at the data by region. I took the info from their site, put it into a spreadsheet and categorized each nation into a region. I fudged a little with Singapore by putting it into East Asia, but since most people there are ethnic Han, it’s just a small one. Kazakhstan didn’t fit well into Europe or East Asia but didn’t feel like upgrading it to it’s own region of Central Asia. I eventually pushed it into Europe since it was part of the Soviet block at one time. Oceana is Australia and New Zealand.
Just some basic numbers before we get to the regional data.
Total billionaires (& family): 1210
Total wealth controlled: $4.5 trillion. Holy shit, that’s a lot of money for roughly a thousand people.
Mean, Median, Mode ($B): 3.7, 2.0, 1.1
Stdev ($B): 5.2. Given the mean is 3.7, this means that the deviation upwards was sometimes high.
Here is the info by region.
|Region||Number of Billionaires|
So it looks like North America has the most billionaires and Africa the least, which is not surprising in any way. East Asia has around 1/3 fewer billionaires than Europe. I really thought Europe would have much more than East Asia actually. What was pretty surprising to me was within Asia however. Japan has 24 billionaires while Taiwan has 27 and Hong Kong has 38! China has a whopping 115 while South Korea has only 18!
The data shows that certain regions underrepresent in terms of their share of billionaire wealth. North America earns exactly it’s share, East Asia underperforms and Europe and Latin America overperform. Something I noticed looking at the data on the Middle East is that only a few of them are wealthy from oil/energy. I was expecting that nearly all of them would be rich by oil, but it turns out not the case.
If you care to look at the raw data, you can find the file here: Billionaires by Region