The World’s Richest Women — By Region

  • By Quentin Fottrell, Marketwatch
  • November 12, 2014

wealthiest women

Who is the richest of them all? Private wealth consultancy Wealth-X has calculated the wealthiest women by region. And No. 1 is American.

The oldest on the list is 92 and the youngest is just 33, according to Wealth-X. But these women are still far outnumbered by the number of male billionaires. There were 2,039 male billionaires in 2014, accounting for 87.7 percent of the world’s total billionaire wealth of $7.3 trillion, but only 286 female billionaires in 2014, accounting for a 12.3 percent share of global billionaire wealth. Still, the global population of billionaires rose 7 percent to 2,325 this year over last.

Only one woman on the list is self-made. And women are under-represented elsewhere when it comes to wealth and power, as well. Just over 5 percent of CEO positions in Fortune 1,000 companies are held by women. Women currently hold 99 of the 535 seats in Congress: 20 of the 100 seats in the Senate, and 79 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. And 60 of the 172 active judges currently sitting on the 13 U.S. federal courts of appeal are women, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

Here are the world’s wealthiest women by region:

United States: Christy Walton
Walton, 59, also happens to be the richest woman in the world. She is the widow of John T. Walton, one of the sons of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart. Net worth: $37.9 billion

Europe: Liliane Bettencourt
Once the richest woman in the world, Bettencourt, 92, inherited her fortune from her father, who founded the cosmetics giant L’Oréal. Net worth: $31.3 billion

Australia: Gina Rinehart
Rinehart, 60, is Australia’s wealthiest woman and executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting; she inherited her stake from her father Lang Hancock. Net worth: $14.8 billion

Latin America: The Slim Sisters
Vanessa Paola Slim Hajj, Soumaya Slim de Romero and Johanna Monique Slim Ayub were given their fortunes by their father, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Net worth: $6.3 billion each.

Asia: Yang Huiyan
China’s Yang Guoquiang transferred 70 percent of his shares in Country Garden Group, a Chinese real-estate development firm, to Huiyan, 33, before its 2007 IPO. Net worth: $6.3 billion.

Middle East: Shari Arison
The lion’s share of Arison’s wealth comes from her late father, Israeli businessman Ted, who founded Carnival Corp. CCL, which operates Carnival Cruises. Net worth: $4.2 billion.

Africa: Folorunsho Alakija
Folorunsho, 63, began her career as a secretary and moved into fashion with clients that included Nigeria’s elite. She was granted an oil prospecting license in 1993. Net worth: $1.2 billion.

This article originally appeared on MarketWatch.com and is reprinted by permission from Marketwatch.com, ©2014 Dow Jones & Co. Inc. All rights reserved.

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