Billionares today

I just read an article about billionares. This says that most of them (775) are still in Europe but the USA will most likely take the lead in 2017. Now there is 571 billionares in the USA, says Helsingin Sanomat (27.5.2015).
Europe’s billionares are the richest of them. There are many billionares also in China, Great Britain and Germany.

In Europe, only 17% of the billionares have made their own money. The rest of them became billionares by inheritance. In the USA almost 50% have made their fortune themselves and in Asia almost one third.

It looks like that the USA will take the lead in mumber of billionares soon because the biggest growing group of billionares are the ones that make their own money and the USA has clearly the most of that type.

Nine out of ten billionares are men. Only 13% of these men became billionares by inheritance. Their average age is 64 years and almost 90% of them are married.

One out of ten billionares is a woman. The average billionare woman is 61 years old and inherited her billions. Only on third of bilionare women have made their own money at least partially. Women who have built their assets themselves are clearly younger than their inheritance-enjoying counterparts and their property is very much less of value.

Here is the complete article in Finnish with more details


The definition of “making their own money” is a very loose term. In my own definition if you have upper middle class parents then you didn’t make it on your own. If your parents had a paid off home then you didn’t make it on your own. To start a business in your parents home without the burden of paying rent or mortgage is an immense advantage that most of us never got.

Many of these billionaires lie about their past and they love to pretend they are “self-made”, I would say the statistics are much slimmer than that if you minus the lies.

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Good point.

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People shouldn’t be punished for the money they have. It’s the system that needs fixed. The old term “don’t hate the player, hate the game applies.” On that note, people trying to make it unfair for others or are in anyway doing harm to the “game” or others should and will be held accountable. Ultimately we need to fix the parameters, or “game”

Good point, but isn’t the middle class still in the bottom class? It’s still the parents house and money. I’m unemployed and live with my parents. I’m 20 and I don’t pay rent, but I don’t have any money. They don’t give me money, so if I built a company like that I would consider it self made.

Yes but you would have to acknowledge you didn’t start at the very bottom, in fact you were in the top 49% or so who had the luxury of not paying rent while starting a new business. So you could say “I’m self made, but i played the game on easy mode”.

From a knowledge perspective nobody is self-made as every idea is an evolution of ideas that goes back thousands of years. Steve Jobs is praised yet he didn’t invent anything new, Xerox created a computer system that Apple copied. Henry Ford didn’t invent the car, he just put together other peoples technologies and re-packaged them into one product. Thomas Edison DIDN’T invent the light bulb, he just found the most commercially viable filament to put inside it.

An article stating that crony billionares are detrimential to economic growth and billionares who made their money themselves have zero effect. So no need for billionares :smile:

Thanks for that brilliant article!

Here’s another good one: