There are more ultra-wealthy women than ever before

Kylie Jenner’s in good company.

Women make up a larger share of the ultra-wealthy than ever before, according to a report released this week by global wealth consultancy Wealth-X.

Altogether, there were just fewer than 35,000 women whose net worth totals $30 million or more, equivalent to 13.7 percent of the global ultra-high net-worth (UNHW) population.

That’s an increase of 31 percent over last year, outpacing the 10 percent increase overall for the global UNHW cohort.

Historically, the world’s richest women were more likely than their male peers to have inherited some or all of their wealth. That’s now changing.

“Driven by the shifting trends in global wealth distribution and cultural attitudes, and with technology spurring new opportunities for wealth creation, the number of self-made female entrepreneurs is on the rise,” researchers noted in the Wealth-X report.

There are nearly 10,000 self-made female entrepreneurs who have attained ultra-high-net-worth status — and more than half of them hail from the US like Jenner, who was recently named by Forbes as one of the world’s richest self-made women and a hair’s breadth from becoming a billionaire thanks to her cosmetics empire.

These women also generally hold less of their investable assets in cash or public holdings, though Wealth-X argued this could be because self-made female entrepreneurs prefer to list their companies on the stock market at an earlier stage. Their average wealth is roughly $60 million, half of that of the average UNHW individual overall.

But the future of the ultra-wealthy isn’t just female — it’s also Asian. While the U.S. remained the leading country for UNHW individuals — 31% of them call America home — its grip on that title is beginning to weaken. Hong Kong overtook New York City as the largest UNHW city. And Asia’s ultra-wealthy population is becoming larger and richer at a faster clip than their North American colleagues.

And while the top 10 ultra-wealthy countries all posted double-digit growth in total wealth, other emerging markets are also seeing explosive growth among the ranks of their richest residents including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kenya and India.


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