Ten years from now, India will have more billionaires than any other country in the world, says a poll by American business publication
According to the Internet poll being conducted by the magazine, which lists the world's richest billionaires every year, more than half of respondents believe that India will have the maximum number of billionaires in 2017.
As per the latest Forbes list of world's billionaires, published last month, India is the fourth largest in the world in terms of billionaires population, while US continues to top the rankings.
However, according to the online poll on Forbes' website, where over 11,800 votes were cast at the last count, only 17 per cent of respondents believe that the US would have the most billionaires in 2017.
In comparison, the maximum -- 53 per cent -- believe it would be India at the top in terms of number of billionaires. The second highest number of votes has gone in favour of China at 20 per cent, while the US comes at the third position, according to the latest poll data.
None of the other countries has so far managed to garner a vote of more than 10 per cent. Russia comes at fourth position with three per cent, while Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom have one per cent each. So far, virtually no vote has been cast for France having the maximum billionaires in 2017.
The Americans now account for 42 per cent of total 1,125 billionaires in the world, down from 44 per cent last year. Their dominance seems to be diminishing, Forbes had noted last month, saying that half of world's 20 richest were from the US two years ago, but there are only four now.
In comparison, there are four Indians -- Lakshmi Mittal, Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani and KP Singh -- among the world's 10 richest. No other country has as many number.
As per the latest list, there are 53 billionaires from India, as against 469 in US and 87 from Russia, the second biggest home of billionaires in the world. The Americans and Russians are followed by billionaires from Germany, which slipped to the third slot this year with 59 billionaires after holding onto the second position for six years.
In Asia, India is already biggest home to maximum number of billionaires, followed by China (42), Hong Kong (26), Japan (24) and Australia (14).
In this year's list of billionaires, there were 226 newcomers, which included 77 from the US. Besides, there were 35 newcomers from Russia, 28 from China and 19 from India.
This represents an annual growth of more than 50 per cent in the number of Indian billionaires from India. Going by this growth rate, the number could increase by 53 currently to close to 3,000 in 10 years from now.
Even if the average annual growth rate is of just about half of this at about 25 per cent, there could still be nearly a ten-fold increase to 500 by 2017.
Merrill Lynch and Capgemini had said in their latest annual wealth report that the millionaire population in India grew by 20.5 per cent last year to about 100,000. This was more than twice the rate of increase in number of the US millionaires and the world's second highest after 21.2 per cent for Singapore.