Long gone are the days when to be a millionaire was a label of incredible wealth, as the number of billionaires continues to increase the world over. How are these billionaires distributed throughout Europe? Which countries have the most?
Here we looked at the 10 European countries with the most billionaires, put them in order from most to least, and had a closer look at who some of these billionaires are.
So, without further ado, here is the list of the 10 European countries with the most billionaires:
The European country with the most billionaires is Germany. In 2022 it has 134 billionaires, who are together worth a total of €608 billion.
Well-known German billionaires include ,Klaus-Michael Kühne, who owns over 50% of the transport company Kühne + Nagel, and the heir to the Lidl supermarket empire, Dieter Schwarz.
Newcomers to the list of Germany billionaires include Christian Angermayer, an entrepreneur and investor, who is also a film producer.
Christian Angermayer has produced 26 feature films. These include Hector And The Search For Happiness (2014), Filth (2013), The Aspern Papers (2018), Resistance (2020) and Army of Thieves (2021).
There is a bit of a jump down in the number of billionaires in the second country on our list. Italy has 52 billionaires, worth a total of €195 billion
58-year-old ,Giovanni Ferrero is the richest person in Italy, with a wealth of €36 billion. He is heir to the Ferrero confectionery company, and is currently executive chairman.
This year sees six new billionaires in Italy, one of which is Susan Carol Holland. Holland is chairman of Amplifon, the Milan-based hearing aid company founded by her father in 1950.
Yes, through a series of acquisitions over many years, Amplifon is now present in 29 countries throughout the world, and has an estimated 11% global market share of the hearing aid business. The company has approximately 16,000 employees, and sells through 5,000 points of sale, 4,000 shop-in-shops and nearly 2,000 affiliated stores.
#3: United Kingdom
Third on our list is the United Kingdom, which in 2022 has 49 billionaires, with a total wealth of €199 billion.
The richest billionaire in the UK is still Sir James Ratcliffe, the chemical engineer and businessman, who is founder and CEO of the Ineos chemicals group. Hedge fund manager Michael Platt is the second richest billionaire in the UK, with an estimated wealth of €15 billion. 2022 did not see any new billionaires in the UK.
Yes, seven UK billionaires from 2021 are no longer billionaires in 2022. These include Eddie and Sol Zakay from the Topland Group, Matt Molding, owner of THG plc, and Geeta Gupta-Fisker, founder of electric vehicle startup Fisker Inc.
Sweden boasts 45 billionaires in 2022, up four from last year, and together they have a total net worth of €166 billion.
Stefan Persson, the founder of fashion brand H&M, remains Sweden’s richest billionaire. Sweden welcomed six new members to the billionaires club, but lost two, including Mats Paulsson and Olsson Eriksson.
The fashion company H&M was founded in 1947, in Västerås, Sweden, by Erling Persson. The company was then taken over by his son, Carl Persson, in 1982, who served as manager until 1998. Carl Persson handed over the reigns to his son, Karl-Johan Persson, in 2020, but retained a 36% stake in the company.
The H and M in H&M stands for Hennes and Mauritz. Hennes means ‘hers’ in Swedish, and the name Mauritz comes from the hunting apparel retailer Mauritz Widforss, which Erling Persson acquired in 1968.
Fifth on our list is France, which has 43 billionaires in 2022. These billionaires have a total wealth of €550 billion.
The wealthiest billionaire in France is ,Bernard Arnault, the French businessman, who has a wealth of €158 billion. Arnault co-founded LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton SE, the largest luxury goods company in the world. He is still its chairman and chief executive. Other notable French billionaires are Francoise Bettencourt Meyers of L'Oréal, François Pinault of Kering, and Alain & Gerard Wertheimer of Chanel.
Through the family’s investment holding company, Artémis, Francois Pinault owns a total of five vineyards: Château Latour in Bordeaux, Clos de Tarn in Bourgogne, Château Grillet in the Rhône Valley, Domaine d’Eugénie in Vosne-Romanée and Eisele Vineyard in the Napa Valley.
Next on our list is Switzerland, which has 41 billionaires, who have a combined net worth of €182 billion.
Switzerland’s wealthiest billionaire is Guillaume Pousaz, founder and CEO of payment platform Checkout, who has an estimated wealth of €23 billion. There was one new Swiss billionaire this year, the CEO of Investis real estate group, Stéphane Bonvin.
Founded in 1994, the Investis group is a real estate company based in Switzerland. Its portfolio now includes more than 3,000 apartments in the Lake Geneva region.
In 2022, Spain has 27 billionaires, who together have a total wealth of €116 billion.
Spain’s richest billionaire, ,Amancio Ortega, has a net worth of €59 billion. Born in the León region of Spain, and brought up in the Spanish Basque country, Ortega is the founder of Inditex fashion group, of which the Zara and Bershka clothing shops are part. 2022 has seen a 27% drop in Zara’s share price, but Ortega is still comfortably a billionaire.
Amancio Ortegao opened his first Zara shop in 1975, in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. The shop was initially called Zorba, after the 1964 film Zorba the Greek, but was changed shortly afterwards. The first Zara shop to open outside of Spain was in 1985, in Porto, Portugal.
Norway has 13 billionaires in 2022, together worth a total of €41 billion.
Hedge fund manager Ole Andreas Halvorsen is the richest Norwegian. The second-richest is Ivar Tollefsen, founder of Tollefsen Enterprises and Fredensborg AS. He owns approximately 100,000 apartments across Europe, and has added over €2 billion to his total wealth since 2021. Norway has welcomed a new member to the billionaires club, co-founder of the Oslo brokerage house Fondsfinans, Erik Must.
In 1991, Ivar Tollefsen crossed Greenland on skis, and set a world speed record while doing so. He has also led several expeditions to Antarctica, and in 2009, he completed the Dakar Rally, finishing fourth.
Austria has a total of 11 billionaires, whose combined wealth comes to €62 billion.
The richest Austrian is Dietrich Mateschitz, who is the co-founder of Red Bull. His wealth has increased since 2021, to an estimated €27 billion. (edit: Dietrich Mateschitz died on 22 October 2022, in Salzburg, Austria, at the age of 78).
One Austrian billionaire has left the list, Gaston Glock, the gun manufacturer, whose company famously developed the Glock piston in 1981.
The idea of Red Bull did indeed come from Thailand, but it was developed by Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz. While travelling in Thailand, Mateschitz enjoyed drinking Krating Daeng, and had the idea to develop Red Bull. He founded the Red Bull company in 1984 and launched the drink in Austria in 1987.
The Netherlands also have 11 billionaires, but come in at 10th rather than ninth in our list, because their total wealth is less than that of the billionaires of Austria, at $38 billion compared to €62 billion.
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is the richest Dutch billionaire. She owns 25% of Heineken, the seond-largest brewer in the world, and has a net worth of €15 billion. The Netherlands lost a billionaire from the list in Jitse Groen, CEO of the food delivery company Just Eat, whose shares have dropped in value since last year.
As the second-largest brewer in the world, Heineken N.V. produces 348 beers and ciders worldwide. The company owns 165 breweries in over 70 countries, and has approximately 85,000 employees.