Billionaires Around the Globe Enjoyed Record-Breaking Wealth Gains in 2017

The richest people in the world gained a collective $1.4 trillion in net worth last year.

Billionaires Around the Globe Enjoyed Record-Breaking Wealth Gains in 2017
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Billionaires made more money in 2017 than ever before.

The net worth of the world’s 2,158 richest people jumped 20 percent last year, to total of about $8.9 trillion dollars, according to study conducted by the Swiss bank UBS. The group’s estimated wealth increase of $1.4 trillion is even larger than the gross domestic product of countries like Spain or Australia. The already very wealthy achieved the “greatest absolute growth ever,” The Guardian reported.

“The past 30 years have seen far greater wealth creation than the Gilded Age” the UBS Billionaires 2018 report said. “That period bred generations of families in the U.S. and Europe who went on to influence business, banking, politics, philanthropy and the arts for more than 100 years. With wealth set to pass from entrepreneurs to their heirs in the coming years, the 21st century multi-generational families are being created.”

Of the 179 new billionaires added to the world last year, 40 of them inherited their wealth, according to the study. Just over 700 people on the list are over 70-years-old, leading the authors of the report to guesstimate that many more inherited billionaires will be added to the list in the coming years.

“A major wealth transition has begun,” the report said. “Over the past five years, the sum passed by deceased billionaires to beneficiaries has grown by an average of 17 percent each year, to reach $117 billion in 2017.”

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