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Economics of Spanish Billionaires

Spain has witnessed a remarkable growth in the number of billionaires over the past two decades, both from multigenerational family businesses and through entrepreneurial wealth. The number of billionaires doubled after 2010, reaching a peak of 25 billionaires in the country. The gap in the number of self-made and inherited billionaires is widening in favor of self-made billionaires. In contrast, this gap is narrowing in Spain.

However, wealth levels in Spain follow the global trends differently from the number of billionaires, where self-made capital dominates in factbillionaire entrepreneurs hold 80% of ten-digit assigned wealth.

When we compare wealth level (in dollar amount), this trend is well-aligned with the world, i.e. total wealth of self-made billionaires is higher than the total wealth of inherited billionaires both in Spain and the world.

The rise of Amancio Ortega, the business magnate and founder of the Inditex Group, has brought an unprecedented wealth concentration to Spain in the last decade. Approximately, two-thirds of the total Spanish billionaires’ wealth is controlled by the Ortega family. In contrast, peer countries with a similar economic size saw a gradual decline in the shares of the richest person among the other billionaires.