The 20 most common hobbies of the richest people in the world

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Donald Trump plays golf.
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REUTERS/David Moir

When billionaires 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 billionaires pursue isn’t a display of wealth – it’s philanthropy.

Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the ultra-wealthy, recently released its annual billionaire census, which explores the trends and habits of the world’s richest people. The census tracked billionaires’ passions, interests, and hobbies, providing us with a peek into how the super wealthy spend their free time.

Philanthropy proved the most popular hobby, with more than half of all billionaires 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 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Giving Pledge have instilled a sense of humanitarian responsibility in billionaires to use their vast wealth to make a difference in the world,” Wealth-X notes.

From art and fashion to hunting and fishing, read on to see the 20 most common hobbies and passions of the world’s richest people, as well as the percentage of billionaires who participate in each.


20. Skiing — 7.2%

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Dieter Mateschitz, billionaire owner of the Red Bull energy drink company, attends the men’s downhill at the Hahnenkamm Ski Races in 2004 in Austria.
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Sean Gallup/Getty

19. Watches — 7.7%

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Getty Images/Levent Kulu

18. Fishing — 7.8%

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Tim Regan/Flickr

17. Jewelry — 8.1%

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Yvette Prieto flashes the rock given to her by husband Michael Jordan, billionaire owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.
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Streeter Lecka/Getty

16. Hunting — 8.8%

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Shutterstock

15. Dining — 10.9%

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Uber founder Travis Kalanick cooks broccoli.
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Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

14. Golf — 11%

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Donald Trump golfing.
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REUTERS/David Moir

13. Cultural events — 12.1%

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Virgin chairman Richard Branson celebrates Virgin Atlantic’s expansion into India in Mumbai.
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Rajanish Kakade/AP

12. Reading — 12.3%

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Bill Gates shares what he’s reading.
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Bill Gates Foundation

11. Football/soccer — 13.1%

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich looks on as Chelsea win the Premier League title in London, England in 2015.
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Clive Mason/Getty

10. Collectibles — 14.1%

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Julie Zeveloff/Business Insider

9. Automobiles — 14.5%

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Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

8. Health and exercise — 14.8%

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg loves to run.
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Facebook

7. Boating — 14.9%

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Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison, net worth of more than $48 billion, celebrates during the America’s Cup sailing competition.
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Ezra Shaw/Getty

6. Wine and spirits — 15.9%

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John Paul DeJoria is the founder of Patron Tequila.
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Amy Sussman/Getty

5. Politics — 22.2%

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Billionaire Michael Bloomberg served 12 years as mayor of New York City.
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Getty Images

4. Fashion and style — 25.2%

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Warren Buffett arrives dressed to the nines at a State Dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House.
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Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

3. Art — 28.7%

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Walmart heiress Alice Walton’s immense art collection can be viewed at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
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D Dipasupil/Getty Images

2. Travel — 31%

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Richard Branson poses alongside Virgin Australia staff.
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Don Arnold/Getty

1. Philanthropy — 56.3%

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Bill and Melinda Gates are renowned for their commitment to philanthropy and their charitable work through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Wikimedia Commons