From star sign to net worth - here's what makes a billionaire

2008 State Farm USA Basketball Challenge: USA v Canada
Billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have battled it out for the title of richest man in the world (Source: Getty)

Foreign accent, a couple of yachts and probably a secret swimming pool filled with money in their basement: when it comes to the typical billionaire, most of us have a pretty clear idea of what they look like.

But new analysis of the last 20 years of Forbes' World's Billionaires list has painted a picture of exactly what the average billionaire looks like.

Some of it might surprise you: while the stereotypical billionaire tends to be Russian, the US has consistently had the most billionaires, peaking at 46 in 2001 and 2002, before falling back to 32 in 2008.

Meanwhile, the analysis, by GoCompare, shows Russia peaked at 19 in 2008, before dropping to just five in 2009. Although it recovered slightly thereafter, it has since fallen back to six, as Russia was hit by currency problems.

And while the UK may be trailing behind, at least it's dependable: not only did the number of billionaires over here remain steady during the financial crisis, fluctuating between one and two billionaires (it's three now, just FYI) - but their net work actually increased, from $11bn in 2007, to $14bn in 2008, to $16bn in 2009.

Related articles