In 2015/16, the census reported 2,473 global billionaires holding $7.7trn.
The census analyses the status of the world’s billionaires, who, “despite being modest in number, hold immense wealth and wield a significant influence over the global economy”.
Last year, 283 billionaires lost their status with only 207 new members joining the ranks of the super wealthy.
Men continued to significantly outnumber women by nearly eight to one, with 2,125 men compared with 272 women.
On a global scale, there is one billionaire for every three million people on the planet.
The top three industries for billionaires were finance / banking / investment, industrial conglomerates, and real estate, unchanged from the previous census.
Middle East growth
Most billionaires were found in the US, followed by China, Germany, Russia and the UK.
However, while the global number of super wealthy individuals fell by 3.1%, the number of billionaires in the Middle East increased by 1.8%, regional newspaper The National reported.
The number of billionaires in the Middle East now stands at 169 people, with a combined wealth of $464bn.
A spokesperson for Wealth-X, which compiles the Billionaire Census, told the paper: “Some support [for Middle East billionaire numbers] will have come from the gradual recovery in global commodity markets, particularly in oil prices.
“However, as we have highlighted in previous Billionaire Census reports, Middle Eastern billionaires rank highly for the international diversification of their investment and business holdings.”