The number of female billionaires worldwide has increased nearly sevenfold in the past 20 years to 145 – and it is Asian entrepreneurs who are driving this growth, according to a study.

The report found that women have outpaced men when it comes to membership of the billionaires’ club with both their ranks and their wealth growing at faster rates. Their number compares with only 22 in 1995.

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But the club is still very much dominated by men over 60. There are 1,202 male billionaires – but their number has only grown by a factor of 5.2.

In 1995, there were 289 billionaires globally, but by 2014 their number had swelled to 1,347, according to the study published by Swiss bank UBS and professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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