Europe has too few billionaires, Russia too many - Spear's Magazine

Europe has too few billionaires, Russia too many

This year’s Forbes Billionaires list has revealed that the BRIC countries are producing an increasing number of billionaires. But if the number of billionaires a country produced were directly linked to national income, how many billionaires should countries have, asks Sophie McBain

This year’s Forbes Billionaires list has revealed that the BRIC countries are producing an increasing number of billionaires. But if the number of billionaires a country produced were directly linked to national income, how many billionaires should countries have, asks Sophie McBain

With a bit of number crunching we discovered that the region with the biggest shortfall in billionaires is, as might be imagined, Sub-Saharan Africa, but the EU is surprisingly underweight. Despite contributing around a quarter of the world’s GDP, the countries of the EU only produce around fifteen per cent of the world’s billionaires. In this way, it could be argued that the EU should be producing 139 more billionaires than it currently does (44% underweight).

The combined GDP of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa amounts to only 1.6 per cent of global income. If the number of billionaires produced were directly proportional to national income, Sub-Saharan Africa should be home to 19 billionaires. At present, it has only six (68% underweight).

All of the BRIC countries (except Brazil), as well as the USA, produce an excess of billionaires relative to their national income. Among the BRIC countries, this trend is most pronounced in Russia, which contributes just 2.4 per cent of GDP but produces around 8 per cent of the world’s billionaires. On our model, it has an excess of 86 billionaires (248% overweight).

The USA also houses more than its fair share of billionaires. It produces 27% of global GDP and 34% of the world’s billionaires, which means that the USA is home to an excess of 286 billionaires (44% overweight).

The Middle East and North Africa, and the ASEAN-5 were the only two regions that produced billionaires in almost direct proportion to their contribution to the global economy.




 

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