A new report finds that the number of billionaires in the world leapt by 222 last year to 2,089, with a combined total $6.7 trillion in wealth–a sum that represents roughly one-third of America’s $18,099,042,237,252.89 national debt.
The world’s three richest men were: Bill Gates with $85 billion (an increase of 25% over last year); Mexico’s Carlos Slim with $83 billion (an increase of 38%); and Barack Obama-backer Warren Buffett with $76 billion (an increase of 19%).
With a total 537 billionaires, the U.S. topped the list of countries with the most mega-rich individuals. Coming in second with 430 billionaires was China. And for the first time, India leapt over Russia to clinch the number three spot with 97 billionaires versus Russia’s 93.
The key driver of the billionaire boon: technology and its ability to create massive wealth–and expand “income inequality”— in record time.
“Tech has been leading the way again for new billionaires,” Rupert Boogewerf, chairman and chief researcher at the Hurun Report told CNBC. “It’s all eyes on the new economy.”