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- Philanthropy is the most popular hobby among billionaires, according to Wealth-X’s 2019 Billionaire Census.
- Sports, boating, and travel are also popular pastimes among the richest people in the world, according to Wealth-X.
- The hobbies of the richest billionaires are different from billionaires with net worths under $5 billion; billionaires worth $5 billion are more active in philanthropy, art, and aviation.
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When rich people have free time, they have the means for extravagant hobbies, whether it’s collecting classic cars or jet-setting across the globe. But the most common hobby they pursue isn’t a gaudy display of wealth – it’s philanthropy.
In a report from Wealth-X, a market research firm that focuses on ultra-high net worth individuals, we get a peek at the top passions, interests, and hobbies of people with a net worth of $1 billion or more.
Philanthropy proved the most popular hobby, with more than half of the world’s wealthiest people pursuing charitable activities. This generosity comes as no surprise, though, thanks to the rise in recognition of endeavors such as The Giving Pledge, a promise started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime.
The second-most popular interest among this group is watching, playing, and investing in sports, including tennis, soccer, skiing, American football, and most of all, golf, according to Wealth-X.
From art and fashion to hunting and fishing, read on to see the 10 most common hobbies and passions of the wealthiest of the wealthy, ranked in order of popularity.
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According to Wealth-X, 21.8% of the billionaires worth $5 billion or more enjoy boating. That includes Oracle founder Larry Ellison, whose net worth is north of $56 billion.
Egypt, Japan and Iceland are favorite travel destinations of the world’s wealthiest people, Business Insider’s Hillary Hoffower previously reported.
8. Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities are a favorite pastime of American billionaires in particular, according to Wealth-X.
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Collecting art is a more popular hobby among billionaires worth $5 billion or more than it is among billionaires whose net worth is under $5 billion. Wealth-X reports that 35.8% of top-tier billionaires are interested in art, compared to 19.6% of billionaires worth between $1 billion and $5 billion.
- Bill Gates Foundation
Chinese billionaires are more interested in education than other billionaires. According to Wealth-X, 25.4% of Chinese billionaires are interested in education. Meanwhile, education does not rank among the top five passions of American billionaires, German billionaires, or billionaires at large.
5. Real estate
- Screenshot via Bing Maps
Not only is real estate a major hobby among billionaires, it’s also an industry that’s responsible for a lot of their wealth. According to Wealth-X, 7.6% of billionaires worldwide work in real estate. Only finance and industrial conglomerates employ more billionaires – 20.7% and 13.1% respectively.
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While some billionaires, including Michael Bloomberg and Howard Shultz, have run for public office, more billionaires participate in politics through donations. Financier George Soros and hedge fund managers Tom Steyer and Donald Sussman are major funders of the Democratic party, according to CNN.
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According to Wealth-X, 26.4% of billionaires across the globe are interested in aviation. Flying is most popular among American billionaires: 45.2% of billionaires in the US are aviators. Aviation doesn’t rank in the top five hobbies of Chinese and German billionaires.
Golf is billionaires’ favorite sport, according to Wealth-X, with 28.2% of billionaires worth $5 billion or more and 26.9% of billionaires worth less than $5 billion being fans.
Soccer is also popular among billionaires, but like golf, it is more popular with top-tier billionaires.
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Philanthropy is billionaires’ overall favorite hobby, with 52% of the world’s billionaires making charitable donations in 2018. Education is their preferred cause according to Wealth-X, followed by social services and the arts.