Superrich Billionaires Are Getting Super Richer During the Pandemic

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Ah yes, the chasm between the one-percenters and the rest of the world has widened even more. While many are scrambling to rebuild their lives, the very few on the very top are making bank even in the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know:


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Total Billionaire Wealth: $10.2 Trillion in 2020

"Riding the Storm," a new report by audit and advisory company PwC Switzerland, reveals how “total billionaire wealth reached $10.2 trillion at the end of July 2020.” The latest trillion-dollar number bests the $8.9 trillion record in 2017. Wow. Just wow.

Total Billionaires: 2,158 Billionaires in 2020

If that makes your head spin, consider a humbler set of numbers to comprehend the information. As of July 31, 2020, there are 2,189 billionaires versus the 2,158 in 2017. That makes 31 new entrants in the elite club.

China-Rich Billionaires: 1,146 percent Super Growth 

Billionaires from mainland China recorded a tremendous growth of 1,146 percent in the past decade. From the humble beginnings of $134.9 billion in 2009, it records a wealth of $1,680.9 billion in 2020. The report adds: “By early April 2020, there were 389 Chinese billionaires, worth a total of $1.2 trillion. Their wealth had grown by almost nine times, compared with twice in the U.S.” 

Billionaire Super Sectors: Tech and Health

The report also identifies where the superrich is making bank. As reflected in the last two years and the first seven months of 2020, innovators involved in tech, healthcare, and industrials are making more than peers in other industries. Some of these billionaire disruptors include Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X, Frank Wang, who is the world’s first drone billionaire, and Patrick Collison, a computer programmer.



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Billionaire Hearts: 7.2 Billion Donations

Not all billionaires are nefarious Scrooge McDucks for there are, among them, humans with hearts. The report also highlights how a “small group of billionaires” are innovating the spheres of philanthropy and sustainability, as well as lists a commitment of $7.2 billion in various kinds of donations (goods, equipment, money) from some 209 billionaires. The U.S. leads with 98 billionaire donors giving $4,578.6 million. Read the full report here.

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