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China second to US in female billionaires
Asia-Pacific’s Hong Kong, India, Australia fifth, region’s self-made billionaires shine
The Asset 7 Mar 2023

The United States is home to 4 out of the 5 richest women in the world and the highest number of female billionaires with a total of 92, double that of China, its rival and the world’s second-largest economy, which takes second place with 46, according to a recent study.

Germany and Italy follow China in third and fourth place with 32 and 16 billionaires respectively, and Asia-Pacific makes its presence felt with Hong Kong, India and Australia all tied for fifth place with nine billionaires a piece, finds the International Women’s Day study from City Index, which scraped Forbes’ live billionaire tracker to find the country or territory that is home to the most female billionaires.

While each of these three Asia-Pacific countries represents less than a tenth of the number of female billionaires in the US, their self-made billionaires shine.

The world’s richest self-made woman, the mainland China-born Hong Kong tech mogul Zhou Qunfei, founder of touchscreen maker Lens Technology, boasts a net worth of US$6.6 billion, while design software maker Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins (net worth US$3.62 billion) hails from Perth in Australia.

Indian businesswoman and politician Savitri Jindal – matriarch of the Jindal Group business conglomerate – and her family boast a wealth of US$16.96 billion, making her the richest woman in India.

Highest net worth

The US dominates the ranking of the individuals with the highest net worth, with 80% of the richest female billionaires hailing from America. As the richest woman in the world and vice-chairman of L'Oréal – the world’s largest beauty company – French-born Françoise Bettencourt Meyers takes the top spot with a wealth of US$81.49 billion.

New York-based socialite Julia Koch (US$59.65 billion) and Walmart – the world’s largest retailer – inheritor Alice Walton (US$60.16 billion) are almost tied in third and second places respectively, with Walton taking the lead with an extra US$510,000,000.

Mars – the chocolate and pet care group –  heiress Jacqueline Mars comes in fourth place with a cool fortune of US$38.01 billion, still a 37% decrease from the wealth of Alice Walton and less than half the wealth of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. 

Rounding out the world’s top five is Miriam Adelson and family, wife and inheritors of the gambling and casino fortune of Sheldon Adelson who died in 2021, with a tidy fortune of US34.97 billion.

Third-place Germany’s billionaires include German automotive empire heiress Susanne Klatten (US$27.58 billion) and the family of Francine von Finck (US$8.27  billion), daughter of late billionaire businessman August von Finck Jr.

Fourth-place Italy is home to iconic fashion designer Miuccia Prada (US$5.24 billion) and Campari heiress Alessandra Garavoglia (US$3.44 billion), who head up the list of Italian female billionaires and are a testament to the country’s love of fashion and food. 

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