Rising class

Almost sevenfold increase in female billionaires over the last 20 years

Zhou Qunfei, the founder of Lens Technology and the world’s richest self-made woman, in Changsha, China, June 5, 2015. (Gilles Sabrie/The New York Times)

A new study has found that the number of female billionaires has risen to 145, nearly a sevenfold increase in the last 20 years. Women are even outpacing men: in 1995 there were only 22 female billionaires, but by 2014 that number had grown by a 6.6 factor, while the number of male billionaires “only” grew by a 5.2 factor — to 1,202 billionaires. In that same period, global GDP went from $30 trillion to more than $77 trillion, while the collective wealth of the world’s billionaires increased nearly eightfold: from $700 billion to $5.4 trillion. According to the study, the rise of the female billionaires is largely thanks to Asia’s fast-growing young economies, where a tiny but growing group of female entrepreneurs have been able to build billion-dollar businesses.  According to the study, this is “creating an entirely new billionaire demographic”, with more than 25 Asian female billionaires, more than half of whom are first-generation entrepreneurs, and many of whom are younger (53 on average) than their billionaire peers.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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