Beijing consultancy claims China has more billionaires than U.S.

Almost half of world’s billionaires are in the U.S. and China, and India is home to the third largest group of billionaires.

While Forbes put the number of billionaires in 2024 at 2,781 individuals, with a total wealth worth $14.2 trillion, a Chinese analytical source has found 500 more persons who own more than $1 billion. Most of these “newly-discovered” super-rich individuals are in China, of course.

According to the Hurun Global Rich List, there are 3,279 billionaires globally as of early this year and they are worth at least $15 trillion.

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Unlike Forbes, which sees Bernard Arnault (& family) as the richest person, the Beijing-based consultancy places Elon Musk atop. Forbes counted $233 billion for Arnault, $195 billion for Musk, $194 billion for Jeff Bezos and $177 billion for Mark Zuckerberg.

Hurun instead employs different approach and credits Musk with $231 billion, Bezos with $185 billion, Arnault with $175 billion, and Zuckerberg with $158 billion.

Both sources give the list of top 10 wealthiest individuals with the same names – one French (Arnault), one Indian (Mukesh Ambani), and eight Americans, with slightly different rankings.

However, according to Forbes, the United States has most billionaire citizens (813) and China including Hong Kong comes second (with 473 individuals). Hurun claims the ranking should be switched: China has 814 billionaires and the U.S. 800.

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The gap was even wider last year and it narrowed because China lost 155 billionaires and while the U.S. gained 109, Hurun states. Both sources agree that China and the U.S. have together almost more almost half of the world’s billionaires, and that India is home to the third largest group of billionaires: 200 (Forbes) or 271 (Hurun), but disagree on the country with the fourth largest group: Germany by Forbes and the U.K. by Hurun.

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