The United States has lost some of its lustre, according to the Hurun Institute’s Global Rich list for 2016. The Rich List indicates that China now has the greatest number of billionaires in the world, while Beijing has replaced New York City as the world capital of billionaires.
 
The Hurun Institute says that there are 2,188 billionaires in the world. This is an increase of 99 since last year. China now has 568 billionaires, while there are 535 in the United States. India is still in third place.
 
The chief researcher and chairman of the Hurun Report, Rupert Hoogewerf, said in a statement, "Despite its own slowdown and falling stock markets, China minted more new billionaires than any other country in the world last year, mainly on the back of new listings." Hoogewerf said "Growth in billionaires for the rest of the world was held back by a slowdown in the global economy, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and the drop in oil prices. The number of billionaires, however, has jumped 50 percent since 2013."
 
On the bright side, the U.S. still claims 8 of the top 10 billionaires worldwide. That number rises to 11 if the tie between France's Bernard Arnault of LVMH and the United States' Michael Bloomberg for 10th is taken into consideration. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos accounted for one of the biggest increases: he jumped 18 spots to claim fourth place. Bezos has a net worth of $53 billion, up $24 billion since 2015.
 
#1 billionaire Bill Gates and # 2 billionaire Warren Buffett saw their worth drop 6 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Gates still dominates Buffett: $80 billion to Buffett's $68 billion net worth.
 
Spain is home to the third richest man in the world: Amancio Ortega. And Mexico claims Carlos Slim, who was born in Lebanon, as the fifth richest person in the world. No Chinese appeared among the ten richest in the world. 
 
Real estate accounts for the wealth of most of the Chinese billionaires: 117 out of the 568 total. Their combined wealth is $1.4 trillion. China’s biggest real estate developer, Wang Jianlin, who chairs the Dalian Wanda Group, is the richest Chinese man on the list with $26 billion.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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