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The 15 most billionaire-dense countries

Business Insider 20/07/2015 LIANNA BRINDED

Taiwan's billionaires have a combined net worth of $117.1 billion ($75.1 billion) after a boom in its financial services sector and strong trade links with China.© Provided by Business Insider Taiwan's billionaires have a combined net worth of $117.1 billion ($75.1 billion) after a boom in its financial services sector and strong trade links with China. There are 1826 billionaires in the world and there are some countries that have hundreds of them.

However, while nations like China may house some of the world's richest people, with 400 billionaires, it doesn't actually have the highest number of billionaires in proportion to the population.

Approved Index, a UK-based business-networking group, crunched the numbers from Forbes' 2015 billionaire list using this week's data and found that the most billionaire-dense nations across the world are pretty surprising.

15. Taiwan

Number of billionaires: 33

Population: 23,456,545

Population per one billionaires: 710,804

Taiwan's billionaires have a combined net worth of $117.1 billion ($75.1 billion) after a boom in its financial services sector and strong trade links with China. Daniel and Richard Tsai are the richest men in the country, with a net worth of $10 billion (£6.4 billion), after assuming leadership of financial services giant Fubon Financial.

14. Kuwait

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 5

Population: 3,268,431

Population per one billionaires: 653,686

Kuwait is the fifth richest country in the world, as measured by GDP per capita, with $70,914 per person. This is mainly because the geographically small country has a relatively open economy with crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels, according to Forbes.

13. United States

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 536

Population: 321,369,000

Population per one billionaires: 599,569

The U.S. houses the largest amount of billionaires in the world and continues to dominate the rankings for the world's richest people. You have Microsoft founder Bill Gates who tops the overall wealthiest people in the world list with a net worth of $79.4 billion (£50.9 billion) and legendary investor Warren Buffett with $67.3 billion (£43.2 billion) at third. It ranks lower in the list though when looking at the number of billionaires per proportion of the population.

12. Lebanon

A man walks along the corniche at the start of the summer season for the Mediterranean city on June 23, 2014 in downtown Beirut, Lebanon.© Provided by Business Insider A man walks along the corniche at the start of the summer season for the Mediterranean city on June 23, 2014 in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. Number of billionaires: 7

Population: 4,104,000

Population per one billionaires: 586,286

Lebanon has a free-market economy and now houses seven billionaires, including telecoms magnate and former Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

11. Norway

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 10

Population: 5,176,998

Population per one billionaires: 517,700

Norway is rich with natural resources and has a vibrant private sector, so it's little wonder how it managed to carve out 10 billionaires. It is the world's third-largest natural gas exporter and seventh largest oil exporter. It is also home to Stein Erik Hagen, who founded discount supermarket Rimi with his father in the 1970s. He and his family are worth $4.5 billion (£2.8 billion).

10. Israel

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 17

Population: 8,358,100

Population per one billionaires: 491,653

Israel is big on cut diamonds, high-tech equipment and pharmaceuticals. It has one of the most technologically advanced market economies in the world. Perhaps the most famous Israeli billionaire right now is bachelor Teddy Sagi, who made his money setting up gambling software maker Playtech. He has a net worth of $3.5 billion (£2.2 billion) and Forbes says: "Great Britain is his playground." PlayTech is currently looking to buy out the embattled Plus500 trading firm.

9. Sweden

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 23

Population: 9,784,445

Population per one billionaires: 425,411

Sweden is famed for its high standards of living as well as its mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. However, it has also fostered 23 billionaires as of this year. This includes Swedish video game programmer and designer Markus Alexej Persson who founded the Mojang video game company which made the insanely popular Minecraft video game. 

8. Iceland

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 1

Population: 329,740

Population per one billionaires: 329,740

Iceland used to have 6 billionaires on its shores before the financial crisis and now it is down to 1 - investor Thor Bjorgolfsson. However, due to Iceland's small population, Iceland makes number 8 in the list. Bjorgolfsson is worth around $1.28 billion (£817 million).

7. Singapore

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 19

Population: 5,469,700

Population per one billionaires: 287,879

Singapore is one of the wealthiest countries with a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. It has a highly developed and successful free-market economy and is corruption-free. The island nation boasts 19 billionaires, many of whom made their fortunes through real estate and banking, such as property tycoons Robert and Philip Ng with a net worth of $8.6 billion (£5.5 billion). 

6. Switzerland

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 29

Population: 8,256,000

Population per one billionaires: 284,690

Switzerland is the perfect breeding ground for billionaires with its highly skilled labour force and low corporate tax rates. It has low unemployment and a high per capita GDP at $54,800 (£34,988). The richest man in Switzerland is Ernesto Bertarelli, who inherited pharmaceutical giant Serono. In 2007, he sold it to Merck for $9 billion (£5.7 billion).

5. Cyprus

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 5

Population: 858,000

Population per one billionaires: 171,600

Cyprus's economy grew at an average rate of about 4% during the first five years of European Union membership but later tanked following the eurozone sovereign debt crisis of 2010. After a $13 billion (£8.3 billion) bailout, a raft of a capital controls, and unemployment rising to 16%, Cyprus has struggled to grow again. However, it still has five billionaires under its belt. Christos Lazari is worth $2.2 billion (£1.4 billion) and is a self-made billionaire from London property investments.

4. Hong Kong

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 55

Population: 7,264,100

Population per one billionaires: 132,075

Hong Kong is seen as the financial gateway into mainland China and has a free market economy. Since it is dependent on international trade and finance, Hong Kong has become one of the most prominent financial centres in the world. It's richest resident is Li Ka-Shing, the self-made billionaire worth $33.5 billion (£22.3 billion).

3. Guernsey

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 1

Population: 65,150

Population per one billionaires: 65,150

It's surprising to see Guernsey in the third spot but since it has a tiny population and its sole billionaire Stephen Lansdown is enough to make the place one of the most densely populated nations for the ultra rich. Lansdown is worth $2.1 billion (£1.3 billion) after co-founding British financial-services firm Hargreaves Lansdown.

2. St Kitts and Nevis

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 1

Population: 55,000

Population per one billionaires: 55,000

This two-island country in the West Indies were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans. It's sole billionaire is the elusive Jacky Xu, who is originally from China. He founded the Trendy International Group of Guangzhou in China, which counts LVMH's financial vehicle L Capital as an investor.

1. Monaco

© Provided by Business InsiderNumber of billionaires: 3

Population: 37,800

Population per one billionaires: 12,600

Monaco is the playground of the super-rich due to its tax haven status and small and exclusive population that live in enviable climates and a seriously high standard of living. So it's surprising that it counts only three people as billionaires as its residents. Its richest person is fine art dealer David Nahmad with a net worth of $1.85 billion (£1.2 billion).

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