Last week, the fifth edition of the Billionaire Census was released. Apparently, the wealth of billionaires increased by 24 percent during 2017. In addition, the billionaire population, which had suffered reduced numbers since 2015, expanded. It now includes 2,754 individuals. The previous high was 2,473 in 2015. According to Wealth-X:
- 816 live in the Asia-Pacific region
- 884 live in the Americas
- 1,054 live in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
There is a bit of disagreement about the size of the 'Three-Comma Club' and the rate at which its wealth is increasing. In March 2018, Forbes reported there were "...2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories including the first ever from Hungary and Zimbabwe. This elite group is worth $9.1 trillion, up 18 percent since last year. Their average net worth is a record $4.1 billion. Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by Mainland China with 373."
Two hundred and fifty-six women made the list, including 42 new additions.
The Giving Pledge is another exclusive group that some billionaires have joined. The objective of the Pledge is to "...help address society's most pressing problems by inviting the world's wealthiest individuals and families to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will."
As of February 2018, 175 billionaires from 22 countries had joined.