The world has a new billionaire capital, officially. For the first time in the seven years we’ve been tracking the net worths of billionaires, New York City is no longer home to the largest concentration of billionaires. That honor now belongs to Beijing.
Beijing is the new billionaire capital of the world with 100 billionaires, that just slightly beats out New York City’s 99 billionaires.
Beijing may hold the title for the city with the most billionaires (for now) but when it comes to countries, the U.S. still has more billionaires than any other country. Also, the total net worth of Beijing’s 100 billionaires is $484.3 billion. The total net worth of New York City’s 99 billionaires is $560.5 billion. Hong Kong came in third place with 80 billionaires.
Beijing captured the crown thanks to adding 33 new billionaires in 2020, including Zhang Yiming, the (soon to be former) CEO of ByteDance, which owns TikTok. Yiming, who announced on Thursday we was stepping down from the company, currently has a net worth of $44 billion.
New York City only added seven billionaires in 2020. By the way, New York City is about 40% the size of Beijing with 8.4 million people to Beijing’s 21 million. The richest person in New York City is Michael Bloomberg, who has a $60 billion net worth.
China is doing its best to catch up to the U.S. in terms of billionaires. China and Hong Kong added 210 new billionaires in the past year, which is more than any other country in the world. There are five Chinese cities on the list of the 10 cities with the most billionaires. The only other U.S. city to make the list besides New York City is San Francisco with 48 billionaires. For comparison, the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Shanghai have 68 and 64 billionaires respectively.
Billionaires have done particularly well during the pandemic. American billionaires saw their wealth rise 44% in the past year. At the same time, 80 million Americans lost their jobs and eight million fell below the poverty line.
Across the globe, there are 660 new billionaires this year for a total of 2,755 billionaires with a collective net worth north of $13 trillion.