Israel: 2nd highest number of billionaires per capita in world


2 min read
Israelis sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, with Tel Avi in the background, June 17, 2017.
Tomer Neuberg/Flash90Israelis sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, with Tel Avi in the background, June 17, 2017.

A mix of local tech entrepreneurs and wealthy foreign immigrants have boosted number of super rich

Israel could have as many as 71 billionaires according to Forbes and The Marker, although not all of them are considered permanent residents.

The news comes after a bumper year for the world's super-rich, with 660 individuals reaching this status when much of the rest of the world's population was suffering from the effects of lockdowns linked to COVID-19 and at least temporary mass unemployment. 

Video poster

A similar movement with more people becoming grouped as super-rich also occurred the last time there was a global economic catastrophe - during the 2008 crisis. In the US alone, nearly 4 million people lost their homes to foreclosure with millions more losing savings and jobs but the disparity between the rich and the rest continued to widen, just as it seems to have done during 2020-21.

The last 15 months or so were kind to the world's billionaires and Israel's 71 of them are thought to collectively be worth some $380 billion, a 32-percent increase from the year previously.

This was also in part driven by a stock market that although it dipped precipitously in March 2020, recovered to increase billionaire's already impressive financial portfolios.

Unemployment in Israel is also down under 10 percent for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, sitting at 9.6 percent, around 398,600 people.

Out of those, 68,900 people are on unpaid leave, including in fields such as the tourism industry that is still to come back online after the COVID-19 hiatus.