The number of billionaires around the world went down this year as people and investors across the globe faced a volatile environment, according to a report.
The total number of billionaires in the world was 2,668 in 2022, a step down from the 2,755 billionaires the previous year. As of March, 360 people saw their wealth dip below $1 billion, while 273 reached that level, according to a report from UBS published Thursday.
“It’s a time of shifting fortunes,” the report read. “Rapidly rising interest rates, stop-start pandemic re-openings and war in Europe are feeding market uncertainty and volatility, with wealth created and eroded in almost equal measure. Yet amidst the instability some themes persist — especially the broad concept of smart innovators rising to the top.”
Billionaires in Eastern Europe went down from 154 in 2021 to 127 in 2021, in addition to their total wealth going down by more than a third (34.7%) to $455 billion, according to the report. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine played a role in the decrease in the billionaire count because sanctions against Russia prevented billionaires from conducting business with other countries.
Billionaires in Asia Pacific, the largest population of billionaires in the world, dipped to 1,084 this year, down 59 billionaires from last year. The total amount of wealth also decreased in this region, going down almost 10% to $4.2 trillion.
Western Europe also experienced a decrease in billionaires, going from 474 last year to 467 this year.
Not all areas experienced a decrease in billionaires, however. The United States, where roughly a third of billionaires reside, saw a slight uptick with 735 people, up from 724 in 2021. Total billionaire wealth in the U.S. grew by 7% to $4.7 trillion.
India also saw some more people join the billion-dollar club, going from 140 last year to 166 this year.
The five richest billionaires of 2022 are Tesla and Twitter owner Elon Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, chief executive of LVMH Bernard Arnault, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, according to Forbes.