In an annual report, Swiss banking giant UBS and auditors PwC said that last year marked the first time it recorded more billionaires in Asia (637) than in the United States (563), crediting the rise of China’s entrepreneurs.
Europe took the third spot in the report’s billionaire database with 342.
The number of billionaires worldwide rose above 1,500 last year, a 10 percent jump from 2015, due largely to a surge in Asia. During 2016, 117 new Asian billionaires were added to the list.
Three-quarters of those who newly became billionaires in 2016 were from China and India.
The total wealth controlled by the ultra-rich group also shot up to $6 trillion, marking a 17 percent rise on the previous year when billionaire wealth actually shrank.
The group of 1,542 billionaires either owns or partly controls companies that employ 27.7 million people.