- Beijing is now home to more billionaires than New York City for the first time, per Forbes.
- The Chinese capital gained 33 billionaires in the past year, bringing its total to 100 one more than New York City’s 99.
- The US still has more billionaires than anywhere else, but China minted more billionaires in the past year than any other country.
The world officially has a new billionaire capital. For the first time ever, Beijing is home to more billionaires than New York City, according to Forbes’ annual World’s Billionaires List for 2021.
The Chinese capital gained 33 new billionaires in 2020, bringing its total to 100 billionaires and just edging out New York City’s 99 billionaires, per Forbes. The Big Apple added only seven new billionaires in the same time span. In terms of total population, New York City is about 40% of the size of Beijing, with a population of 8.4 million versus Beijing’s roughly 21 million.
Beijing’s richest resident is Zhang Yiming, the founder of TikTok parent company ByteDance, who’s worth $35.6 billion. In New York City, ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg is the wealthiest, with a net worth of $59 billion.
The US has long been home to more billionaires than any other country in the world, but China has been catching up. China and Hong Kong have minted 210 new billionaires in the past year, more than any other nation, according to the Forbes report.
Five Chinese cities rank among the 10 cities with the most billionaires, including special administrative region Hong Kong in third place with 80 billionaires, Shenzhen in fifth with 68, and Shanghai in sixth place with 64.
The only other US city to make the list was San Francisco, ranked eighth with 48 billionaires.
The world’s ultra-wealthy got even richer last year despite a pandemic and economic recessions. Globally, 660 people became new billionaires, bringing the world total to 2,755 billionaires worth a collective $13.1 trillion, per Forbes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the gap between the world’s billionaires and everybody else. In the US, for example, billionaires grew 44% richer in the pandemic, Lina Batarags recently reported for Insider. In the same time period, 80 million Americans lost their jobs and nearly 8 million slipped into poverty.