Hear at the Infographics show, we’ve mainly discussed what life might be like for the extremely wealthy and even discussed some of the world’s billionaires, many of whom live in one country, the United States. But there are approximately 2,043 billionaires worldwide, with a lot of countries having at least one billionaire. China is home to the most billionaires in the world at 647 people, and the surprising thing is many of these people have amassed their fortunes in a relatively short amount of time. The U.S. is second on the list with 550 billionaires, and way behind in the low hundreds is Germany and India, followed by Russia at 96. There are also many countries that have no billionaires, but they obviously have a richest person.
Warning, you won’t find any young people on this list.
We’ll start with Belgium, and the accolade goes to Albert Baron Frère, a 92-year-old businessman that started off in the steel business and later invested in a whole host of industries. His worth is currently $6.3 billion.
Over in France, the richest person is Bernard Arnault. The 68-year old’s accumulated wealth at a staggering $73.3 billion. He made his money in luxury goods, which seems like a very frenchy way to get rich.
Next up, South Africa, and the award goes to 72-year old Nicholas F. Oppenheimer. He made most of his money in precious stones, as the former Chairman of De Beers diamond mining company and also the Diamond Trading Company. According to Forbes, he is worth $7.7 billion. He’s not the richest person on the continent of Africa, though. That title goes to Nigerian Aliko Dangote, a cement and commodities king worth $12.2 billion.
Over to Asia and Pakistan. This isn’t an easy one and many sources give very different answers. This might be because big business in the country is often shared by entire families. Is it Malik Riaz, with a net worth of $2 billion, or is it Shahid Khan, who owns an American football and a British soccer team. He’s actually now an American citizen, though, but said to be the richest person of Pakistani origin and now worth around $8.7 billion.
Hopefully Finland will be less confusing. It seems the accolade goes to Antti Herlin, a 61-year old who made a lot of his $4.6 billion in elevators and escalators, but also maintenance and manufacturing.
United Arab Emirates:
Now the United Arab Emirates and the richest man there. He’s Majid Al Futtaim and is said to be the richest person in the Middle East with a net worth of $10.9 billion. But that source was probably wrong as it seems Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud has a worth of $25.5 billion. Mr. Majid made his cash with the Majid Al Futtaim Group, which builds some really impressive malls around the world.
Far away in Denmark, the richest person is 70-year old Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a person who holds a place in all of our hearts because he is part of the family that created Lego. He’s said to be worth $23.6 billion now, thanks to those little colourful plastic bricks.
Across the world in New Zealand the richest geezer we could find is Graeme Richard Hart, a man who is a whizz at buying companies in trouble and making them very profitable. The 62-year old left school at 16 and became a panel beater. He’s now worth around 9.5 billion dollars.
In Norway sources also disagree, so we went right to a Norwegian publication written in English. According to that publication it is easily John Fredriksen, who is worth around $13 billion. He made most of his cash as owner of the largest oil tanker fleet. But it seems this man now lives in London, and is a Cypriot citizen. So, it could be Odd Reitan, a supermarket guy worth about half of what Fredriksen is worth.
Now we head to Romania and meet a once top-ranking tennis and ice hockey player. It’s said he’s now worth about one billion dollars and made much of that money going into business after retiring from tennis.
Over to Ireland, a favorite place of Apple Inc. According to Forbes the richest person there is Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, an Indian born construction magnate worth $18.7 billion. He married an Irish gal, but right now the 89-year old lives in Mumbai.
Over in Mexico we have one of the richest persons in the world with 78-year old Carlos Slim Helú. Worth around 70.7 billion he’s had his hands in just about every industry you can imagine. He’s said to be worth about 6 percent of Mexico’s GDP.
In Poland the accolade goes to Sebastian Kulczyk, son of Jan, who used to be the richest. Their money came from Kulczyk Investments, and it’s thought the son is now worth in the region of $3.9 billion, but this is also shared with his sister Dominika.
Not too far away in Sweden it seems there is no doubt that the richest person is 70-year old Stefan Persson. He’s worth 18.9 billion and was fortunate enough to take over the fashion company H&M, which his father had built.
Far away in the Far East we have Indonesia. Forbes tells us the richest there are two brothers who made their money from tobacco, electronics and banking. Together it’s said they are worth $32.3 billion.
Staying in Asia we go to Singapore, a nation that wasn’t so prosperous not long ago, relatively speaking. Again, we have two brothers, Robert & Philip Ng. These property magnates are worth around $10.9 billion.
Far away in the Netherlands the prize goes to someone whose name you might know. That is Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken. Yes, she controls most of the beer company Heineken and is worth about 15.4 billion.
In Malaysia the winner is 94-year old Robert Kuok, who made his dough in palm oil, shipping and property. He’s thought to be worth $13.82 billion.
Staying in South East Asia we head to the Philippines. The richest is Henry T. Sy, though at 93, he might not be with us much longer. Mr. Sy is worth $21.7 billion. He made his money in retail and started out working in his family’s convenience store.
Far away in the colder climate of Germany there are lots of billionaires, but the richest of them all is a brother and sister duo. They are Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr. They amassed a fortune of $31.1 billion from selling supermarket goods at very competitive prices. That supermarket is called Aldi.
Downunder, in the country of Australia, the richest person is a ‘Sheila’ and she is called Gina Rinehart. Her worth is around $17.7 billion. She made her money in iron ore. Because the price of this commodity goes up and down a lot, her fortune constantly fluctuates.
Another former part of the British Empire, Canada, and the richest person is the Baron David Thomson. He took over the Thompson Corporation, a once powerful information business. You might have heard of Thompson-Reuters. The business now has long arms into other areas of industry, and the 60-year David is said to be worth around $27.2 billion.
And in the country of India, where we’ve seen massive wealth grow for individuals in recent years, the richest person is 60-year old business magnate Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani. Much of that money came from oil and gas, and he’s said to be worth $41.8 billion.
Now to the former home of the Empire itself and the United Kingdom. That’s said to be the Hinduja family and four siblings called Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok. The family business, which is very diversified, is said to be worth around $19.7 billion. The fab four were actually born in Karachi, then a part of British India, now a part of Pakistan. They soon learned how to make money in trading and exports and haven’t stopped making tons of cash since.
Last on the list is the United States, and it seems we have a new boy on the list after a fairly long run – interrupted from time to time – from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Bill is officially off the number one spot for now and the current holder of the richest person in America and the world is Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. As of February 2018, the 54-year old was worth a staggering $120.4 billion compared to Gates $91.1 billion. Bezos’ wealth has skyrocketed due to a lot of savvy investments as well as from his Amazon shares.
That’s a long list, so why not tell us what you think about it. Should individual people be allowed to amass that much wealth? Is it fair to the average joe? Let us know in the comments!