America’s wealthiest still dominate the global ranks, but more new billionaires now come from China, Russia and other developing economies – and Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helú is holding on to the title of world’s richest man
2011: A record year in numbers, money and impact
This 25th year of tracking global wealth was one to remember. The Forbes 2011 Billionaires List breaks two records: number of billionaires (1,210) and combined wealth ($4.5 trillion).
This combined wealth surpasses the gross domestic product of Germany, one of only six nations to have fewer billionaires this year than in 2010. Brazil, Russia, India and China produced 108 of this year’s 214 new names. These four nations are home to one in four members, up from one in 10 five years ago.
Before this year only the United States had produced more than 100 billionaires. China now has 115 and Russia 101.
Wealth creation is moving at an especially breakneck pace in the Asia-Pacific region, which has a record 332 billionaires, up from 234 a year ago and 130 at the depth of the financial crisis in 2009. Sizzling stock markets are behind this surge.
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