The World's Billionaires

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The World's Billionaires
List of the world's billionaires, ranked in order of net worth
Billionaire's net worth 2000-2015.png
The net worth of the world's billionaires increased from less than $1 trillion in 2000 to over $7 trillion in 2015.
Publication details
Publisher
  • Whale Media Investments
  • Forbes family
Publication Forbes
First publishedMarch 1987 [1]
Latest publicationApril 6, 2021
Current list details (2021) [2]
Wealthiest Jeff Bezos
Net worth (1st)Increase2.svg US$177  billion
Number of billionairesIncrease2.svg 2,755
Total list net worth valueIncrease2.svg US$13.1  trillion
New members to the listIncrease2.svg 493
Forbes: The World's Billionaires website

The World's Billionaires is an annual ranking by documented net worth of the wealthiest billionaires in the world, compiled and published in March annually by the American business magazine Forbes . The list was first published in March 1987. [1] The total net worth of each individual on the list is estimated and is cited in United States dollars, based on their documented assets and accounting for debt and other factors. Royalty and dictators whose wealth comes from their positions are excluded from these lists. [3] This ranking is an index of the wealthiest documented individuals, excluding any ranking of those with wealth that is not able to be completely ascertained. [4]

Contents

As of 2018, Microsoft founder Bill Gates had topped the list 18 of the past 24 years, while Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was ranked at the top for the first time and he became the first centibillionaire included in the ranking. [5]

Methodology

Each year, Forbes employs a team of over 50 reporters from a variety of countries to track the activity of the world's wealthiest individuals [6] and sometimes groups or families – who share wealth. Preliminary surveys are sent to those who may qualify for the list. According to Forbes, they received three types of responses – some people try to inflate their wealth, others cooperate but leave out details, and some refuse to answer any questions. [7] Business deals are then scrutinized and estimates of valuable assets – land, homes, vehicles, artwork, etc. – are made. Interviews are conducted to vet the figures and improve the estimate of an individual's holdings. Finally, positions in a publicly traded stock are priced to market on a date roughly a month before publication. Privately held companies are priced by the prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios. Known debt is subtracted from assets to get a final estimate of an individual's estimated worth in United States dollars. Since stock prices fluctuate rapidly, an individual's true wealth and ranking at the time of publication may vary from their situation when the list was compiled. [6]

Family fortunes dispersed over a large number of relatives are included only if those individuals' holdings are worth more than a billion dollars. However, when a living individual has dispersed his or her wealth to immediate family members, it is included under a single listing provided that individual is still living. [6] Royal families and dictators that have their wealth contingent on a position are always excluded from these lists. [8]

Annual rankings

The rankings are published annually in March, so the net worths listed are snapshots taken at that time. These lists only show the top 10 wealthiest billionaires for each year.

Legend

IconDescription
Steady2.svgHas not changed from the previous ranking.
Increase2.svgHas increased from the previous ranking.
Decrease2.svgHas decreased from the previous ranking.

2021

In the 35th annual Forbes list of the world's billionaires, the list included 2,755 billionaires with a total net wealth of $13.1 trillion, up 660 members from 2020; 86% of these billionaires had more wealth than they possessed last year. [2] [9]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Jeff Bezos $177 billion Increase2.svg57Flag of the United States.svg  United States Amazon
2Increase2.svg Elon Musk $151 billion Increase2.svg49Flag of the United States.svg United States Tesla, SpaceX
3Steady2.svg Bernard Arnault & family$150 billion Increase2.svg72Flag of France.svg  France LVMH
4Decrease2.svg Bill Gates $124 billion Increase2.svg65Flag of the United States.svg United States Microsoft
5Increase2.svg Mark Zuckerberg $97 billion Increase2.svg36Flag of the United States.svg United States Facebook
6Decrease2.svg Warren Buffett $96 billion Increase2.svg90Flag of the United States.svg United States Berkshire Hathaway
7Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $93 billion Increase2.svg76Flag of the United States.svg United States Oracle Corporation
8Increase2.svg Larry Page $91.5 billion Increase2.svg48Flag of the United States.svg United States Alphabet Inc.
9Increase2.svg Sergey Brin $89 billion Increase2.svg47Flag of the United States.svg United States Alphabet Inc.
10Increase2.svg Mukesh Ambani $84.5 billion Increase2.svg63Flag of India.svg  India Reliance Industries

2020

In the 34th annual Forbes list of the world's billionaires, the list included 2,095 billionaires with a total net wealth of $8 trillion, down 58 members and $700 billion from 2019; 51% of these billionaires had less wealth than they possessed last year. [10] The list was finalized as of 18 March, thus was already partially influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. [10]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Jeff Bezos $113 billion Decrease2.svg56Flag of the United States.svg  United States Amazon
2Steady2.svg Bill Gates $98 billion Increase2.svg64Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
3Increase2.svg Bernard Arnault & family$76 billion Steady2.svg71Flag of France.svg  France LVMH
4Decrease2.svg Warren Buffett $67.5 billion Decrease2.svg89Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
5Increase2.svg Larry Ellison $59 billion Decrease2.svg75Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
6Steady2.svg Amancio Ortega $55.1 billion Decrease2.svg84Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex, Zara
7Increase2.svg Mark Zuckerberg $54.7 billion Decrease2.svg35Flag of the United States.svg  United States Facebook
8Increase2.svg Jim Walton $54.6 billion Increase2.svg71Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart
9Increase2.svg Alice Walton $54.4 billion Increase2.svg70Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart
10Increase2.svg S. Robson Walton $54.1 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart

2019

In the 33rd annual Forbes list of the world's billionaires, the list included 2,153 billionaires with a total net wealth of $8.7 trillion, down 55 members and $400 billion from 2018. [11] The U.S. continued to have the most billionaires in the world, with a record of 609, while China dropped to 324 (when not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). [11]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Jeff Bezos $131 billion Increase2.svg55Flag of the United States.svg  United States Amazon
2Steady2.svg Bill Gates $96.5 billion Increase2.svg63Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
3Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $82.5 billion Decrease2.svg88Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
4Steady2.svg Bernard Arnault $76 billion Increase2.svg70Flag of France.svg  France LVMH
5Increase2.svg Carlos Slim $64 billion Decrease2.svg79Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
6Steady2.svg Amancio Ortega $62.7 billion Decrease2.svg82Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex, Zara
7Increase2.svg Larry Ellison $62.5 billion Increase2.svg74Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
8Decrease2.svg Mark Zuckerberg $62.3 billion Decrease2.svg34Flag of the United States.svg  United States Facebook
9Increase2.svg Michael Bloomberg $55.5 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of the United States.svg  United States Bloomberg L.P.
10Increase2.svg Larry Page $50.8 billion Increase2.svg45Flag of the United States.svg  United States Alphabet Inc.

2018

In the 32nd annual Forbes list of the world's billionaires, the aggregate wealth of the top 20 richest people on Earth amounted to about 13 percent of all billionaires' fortunes combined. [12] A record of 2,208 billionaires were in the ranking and the total wealth was $9.1 trillion, up 18% since 2017. For the first time, Jeff Bezos was listed as the top billionaire due to Amazon's rising stock price that resulted in one person's biggest one-year gain in wealth ($35 billion) since Forbes started tracking in 1987. [12] The U.S. had the most billionaires in the world, with 585, while China was catching up with 476 when including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan; it had 372 when excluding those three places. [12] Forbes excluded Al-Walid bin Talal and all other Saudi billionaires due to the absence of accurate wealth estimations as a result of the 2017–19 Saudi Arabian purge. [13]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Increase2.svg Jeff Bezos $112 billion Increase2.svg54Flag of the United States.svg  United States Amazon
2Decrease2.svg Bill Gates $90 billion Increase2.svg62Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
3Decrease2.svg Warren Buffett $84 billion Increase2.svg87Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
4Increase2.svg Bernard Arnault $72 billion Increase2.svg69Flag of France.svg  France LVMH
5Steady2.svg Mark Zuckerberg $71 billion Increase2.svg33Flag of the United States.svg  United States Facebook
6Decrease2.svg Amancio Ortega $70 billion Decrease2.svg81Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex, Zara
7Decrease2.svg Carlos Slim $67.1 billion Increase2.svg78Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
8Steady2.svg Charles Koch $60 billion Increase2.svg82Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
8Steady2.svg David Koch $60 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
10Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $58.5 billion Increase2.svg73Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation

2017

On the 30th anniversary of the Forbes list of the world's billionaires, for the fourth year in a row, Bill Gates was named the richest man in the world. [5] In 2017, there was a record of 2,043 people on the list, which is the first time over 2,000 people were listed. This included 195 newcomers of whom 76 were from China and 25 from the U.S.; there were 56 people under 40 and it had a record of 227 women. [14] The number of billionaires increased 13% to 2,043 from 1,810 in 2016; this was the biggest change in over 30 years of tracking billionaires globally. [5] Added together, the total net worth for 2017's billionaires was US$7.67 trillion, up from US$7.1 trillion in 2015. [5] [15] This was the first time after 12 years that Carlos Slim was not within the top five. The U.S. had the most billionaires in the world, with a record of 565. China had 319 (not including Hong Kong, Taiwan or Macau), Germany had 114, and India had the fourth most with 101; India reached over 100 billionaires for its first time.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $86.0 billion Increase2.svg61Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Increase2.svg Warren Buffett $75.6 billion Increase2.svg86Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Increase2.svg Jeff Bezos $72.8 billion Increase2.svg53Flag of the United States.svg  United States Amazon
4Decrease2.svg Amancio Ortega $71.3 billion Increase2.svg80Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex, Zara
5Increase2.svg Mark Zuckerberg $56.0 billion Increase2.svg32Flag of the United States.svg  United States Facebook
6Decrease2.svg Carlos Slim $54.5 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
7Steady2.svg Larry Ellison $52.2 billion Increase2.svg72Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
8Increase2.svg Charles Koch $48.3 billion Increase2.svg81Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
8Increase2.svg David Koch $48.3 billion Increase2.svg76Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
10Decrease2.svg Michael Bloomberg $47.5 billion Increase2.svg75Flag of the United States.svg  United States Bloomberg L.P.

2016

For the third year in a row, Bill Gates was named the richest man in the world by Forbes' 2016 list of the world's billionaires. [16] This is the 17th time that the founder of Microsoft had claimed the top spot. Amancio Ortega rose from last year's position of number four to second. [17] Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway came in third for the second consecutive time, [18] while Mexican telecommunication mogul Carlos Slim slipped from last year's second position to fourth. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, [19] Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook [20] and Michael Bloomberg of Bloomberg L.P., [21] appeared for the first time on the Forbes top 10 billionaires list, coming at fifth, sixth and eighth positions, respectively. Zuckerberg became the youngest top 10 billionaire this year at the age of 31. Larry Ellison, Charles Koch and David Koch also slipped from their previous year's positions, with Ellison dropping to seventh from fifth, and the Kochs falling to ninth position from sixth.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $75.0 billion Decrease2.svg60Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Increase2.svg Amancio Ortega $67.0 billion Increase2.svg79Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex
3Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $60.8 billion Decrease2.svg85Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
4Decrease2.svg Carlos Slim $50.0 billion Decrease2.svg76Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
5Increase2.svg Jeff Bezos $45.2 billion Increase2.svg52Flag of the United States.svg  United States Amazon
6Increase2.svg Mark Zuckerberg $44.6 billion Increase2.svg31Flag of the United States.svg  United States Facebook
7Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $43.6 billion Decrease2.svg71Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
8Increase2.svg Michael Bloomberg $40.0 billion Increase2.svg74Flag of the United States.svg  United States Bloomberg L.P.
9Decrease2.svg Charles Koch $39.6 billion Decrease2.svg80Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
9Decrease2.svg David Koch $39.6 billion Decrease2.svg75Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries

2015

In the 29th annual Forbes list of global billionaires, a record 1,826 billionaires were named with an aggregated net worth of $7.1 trillion compared to $6.4 trillion in the previous year. 46 of the billionaires in this list were under the age of 40. A record number of 290 people joined the list for the first time, of whom 25 percent hailed from China, which produced a world-leading 71 newcomers. The United States came in second, with 57; followed by India, with 28; and Germany, with 23. [22] The United States had the largest number of billionaires with 526. Russia went down to 88 from 111 in 2014. Russia was placed behind China, Germany and India by the number of billionaires. Self-made billionaires made up the largest number of people on the list with 1,191 positions (over 65 percent), while just 230 (under 13 percent) had wealth through inheritance. The number of billionaires who inherited a portion but were still working to increase their fortunes is 405. [23]

Bill Gates was named the richest man in the world by Forbes' annual list of the world's billionaires. This was the 16th time that the founder of Microsoft claimed the top spot. Carlos Slim came in second for the second consecutive time. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway placed third, while Amancio Ortega of Spain, slipped down a position from the previous year to number four. Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, rounded off the top five. Christy Walton was the highest-ranking female at number eight. America's Evan Spiegel, co-founder of photo messaging app Snapchat, became the youngest billionaire this year at age 24. At age 99, David Rockefeller maintained his position as the oldest billionaire included in the list. [24] Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, rose to number 16 with $33.4 billion. Iceland had a billionaire, Thor Bjorgolfsson, in the list after a gap of five years. Guatemala had a billionaire, Mario Lopez Estrada, for the first time in its history. [25]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $79.2 billion Increase2.svg59Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Steady2.svg Carlos Slim $77.1 billion Increase2.svg75Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
3Increase2.svg Warren Buffett $72.7 billion Increase2.svg84Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
4Decrease2.svg Amancio Ortega $64.5 billion Increase2.svg78Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex
5Steady2.svg Larry Ellison $54.3 billion Increase2.svg70Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
6Steady2.svg Charles Koch $42.9 billion Increase2.svg79Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
6Steady2.svg David Koch $42.9 billion Increase2.svg74Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
8Increase2.svg Christy Walton $41.7 billion Increase2.svg66Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart
9Increase2.svg Jim Walton $40.6 billion Increase2.svg66Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart
10Increase2.svg Liliane Bettencourt $40.1 billion Increase2.svg92Flag of France.svg  France L'Oreal

2014

Gates added $9 billion to his fortune since 2013 and topped the Forbes 2014 billionaire list. He had topped the list in 15 of the previous 20 years, but his previous number one ranking was in 2009. [26] Mexican telecommunication mogul Carlos Slim came in second place after being number one the previous four years. Zara founder Amancio Ortega placed third for the second consecutive year. American investor Warren Buffett was in the top five for the 20th consecutive year, placing fourth. [27] America's Christy Walton was the highest ranking woman, placing ninth overall. [1] Aliko Dangote of Nigeria became the first African to enter the top 25, with an estimated net worth of $25 billion. [3]

A total of 1,645 people made the 2014 billionaire list, representing a combined wealth of $6.4 trillion. [27] Of those, a record 268 were newcomers, surpassing 2008's 226 newcomers. [1] 100 people listed in 2013 failed to make the list. [27] The number of women on the list rose to a record 172 in 2014. [1] Approximately 66 percent of the list were self-made, 13 percent achieved their wealth through inheritance alone, and 21 percent through a mixture of the two. [3]

The United States had 492 billionaires on the list, the most of any country. [27] It also had the most newcomers with 50, and women with 54. [1] China had the second most billionaires with 152, while Russia was third with 111. [27] Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania, and Uganda were all represented on the list for the first time. Turkey saw the most people drop off the list, 19, due to a period of high inflation in the country. [3]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Increase2.svg Bill Gates $76.0 billion Increase2.svg58Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Decrease2.svg Carlos Slim & family$72.0 billion Decrease2.svg74Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
3Steady2.svg Amancio Ortega $64.0 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex
4Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $58.2 billion Increase2.svg83Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
5Steady2.svg Larry Ellison $48.0 billion Increase2.svg70Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
6Steady2.svg Charles Koch $40.0 billion Increase2.svg78Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
6Steady2.svg David Koch $40.0 billion Increase2.svg73Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
8Increase2.svg Sheldon Adelson $38.0 billion Increase2.svg80Flag of the United States.svg  United States Las Vegas Sands
9Increase2.svg Christy Walton & family$36.7 billion Increase2.svg65Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart
10Increase2.svg Jim Walton $34.7 billion Increase2.svg65Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart

2013

Carlos Slim topped the 2013 billionaire list, marking his fourth consecutive year at the top. Gates remained in second, while Amancio Ortega moved up to third. Ortega's gain of $19.5 billion was the largest of anyone on the list. [28] Warren Buffett failed to make the top three for the first time since 2000, placing fourth. Diesel founder Renzo Rosso was among the top newcomers, debuting with an estimate net worth of $3 billion. [29]

A global rise in asset prices led Forbes editor Randall Lane to declare "It [was] a very good year to be a billionaire". However, it was not a good year to be Eike Batista, who fell from seventh to 100th, suffering the largest net loss of anyone on the list. [28] Overall, net gainers outnumbered net losers by 4:1. [29]

A record total of 1,426 people made the 2013 list, representing $5.4 trillion of assets. [30] Of those, 442 billionaires hailed from the United States. [28] The Asian-Pacific region had 386 billionaires and Europe 366. The list also featured a record number of newcomers, 210, representing 42 countries. 60 people from the 2012 list fell below a billion dollars of assets in 2013, and eight others from the 2012 list died. The Asia-Pacific region had the most drop-offs, with 29, followed by the United States with 16. The 2013 list featured 138 women, of which 50 came from the United States. A majority of the list (961 individuals, 67 percent) were entirely self-made; 184 (13 percent) inherited their wealth, and 281 (20 percent) achieved their fortune through a combination of inheritance and business acumen. [30] Vietnam's Phạm Nhật Vượng was the first person from that country to be included in this list.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Carlos Slim & family$73.0 billion Increase2.svg73Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
2Steady2.svg Bill Gates $67.0 billion Increase2.svg57Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
3Increase2.svg Amancio Ortega $57.0 billion Increase2.svg76Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex Group
4Decrease2.svg Warren Buffett $53.5 billion Increase2.svg82Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
5Increase2.svg Larry Ellison $43.0 billion Increase2.svg68Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
6Increase2.svg Charles Koch $34.0 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
6Increase2.svg David Koch $34.0 billion Increase2.svg72Flag of the United States.svg  United States Koch Industries
8Increase2.svg Li Ka-shing $31.0 billion Increase2.svg84Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Cheung Kong Holdings
9Increase2.svg Liliane Bettencourt & family$30.0 billion Increase2.svg90Flag of France.svg  France L'Oréal
10Decrease2.svg Bernard Arnault $29.0 billion Decrease2.svg63Flag of France.svg  France LVMH

2012

Carlos Slim topped the 2012 list, marking this third consecutive year at the top. Gates placed second but narrowed the gap from 2011 as Slim's fortune fell $5 billion while Gates' rose $5 billion. Warren Buffett remained in third place. Bernard Arnault of France was the top-ranking European on the list, placing fourth. [31] Ricardo Salinas Pliego was the greatest gainer in terms of dollars, adding $9.2 billion to his fortune and moving up to number 37 overall. [31] Making her debut on the list at age 27, Spanx founder Sara Blakely became the youngest self-made female billionaire ever. [32] Colombia's Alejandro Santo Domingo was the highest-ranked newcomer, inheriting a $9.5 billion stake in Santo Domingo Group from his father. [31] India's Lakshmi Mittal was the largest loser as his fortune dropped from $31.1 billion to $20.7 billion as the price of steelmaker ArcelorMittal fell sharply. [31] As a result, he failed to make the top 10 for the first time since 2004 and lost his title of richest Asian to Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing. [33]

A record total of 1,226 people made the 2012 list, representing 58 countries. Of those, 126 were newcomers to the list and 104 were women. The United States had the greatest number of billionaires with 425. Russia had 96 people on the list, while China had 95. [31] Georgia, Morocco, and Peru were newly represented on the list. Falling stock prices in Asia contributed to 117 former billionaires falling from the list worldwide. Twelve others listed in 2011 died. Overall, net gainers (460) barely outnumbered net losers (441). [33]

To coincide with the release of the 2012 list, Forbes announced a then-new "Billionaire Real-Time Ticker" updating the wealth of the world's top 50 billionaires in real time. [31]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Carlos Slim & family$69.0 billion Decrease2.svg72Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
2Steady2.svg Bill Gates $61.0 billion Increase2.svg56Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
3Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $44.0 billion Decrease2.svg81Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
4Steady2.svg Bernard Arnault $41.0 billion Increase2.svg63Flag of France.svg  France LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
5Increase2.svg Amancio Ortega $37.5 billion Increase2.svg75Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex Group
6Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $36.0 billion Increase2.svg67Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
7Increase2.svg Eike Batista $30.0 billion Increase2.svg55Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil EBX Group
8Increase2.svg Stefan Persson $26.0 billion Increase2.svg64Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden H&M
9Increase2.svg Li Ka-shing $25.5 billion Increase2.svg83Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Cheung Kong Holdings
10Increase2.svg Karl Albrecht $25.4 billion Increase2.svg92Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi

2011

In the 25th annual Forbes list of global billionaires, Slim added $20.5 billion to his fortune, the most of anyone, and retained his number one ranking with a total fortune of $74 billion. Gates remained in second place with $56 billion, while Warren Buffett was third with $50 billion. The top 10 had a combined wealth of $406 billion, up from $342 billion in 2010.[ citation needed ] According to Forbes editor Kerry Dolan, "media and technology billionaires definitely benefited from a stronger stock market and a growing enthusiasm for all things social" since the 2010 list. [34] However, Nigerian commodity mogul Aliko Dangote was the greatest gainer on a percentage basis as his fortune increased 557 percent to $13.5 billion. Mark Zuckerberg was one of seven Facebook-related billionaires on the list, as he added $9.5 billion to his net worth to move up to 52nd. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz was the youngest person on the list. Aged 26, eight days younger than Zuckerberg, he debuted at number 420 with an estimated fortune of $2.7 billion. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad was the largest loser as he saw his fortune plummet from $23 billion to $6 billion, dropping him from 11th to 162nd overall.[ citation needed ]

A record 1,210 billionaires made the 2011 list, representing a combined wealth of $4.5 trillion, up from $3.6 trillion the previous year. [35] One third of the world's billionaires, 413, came from the United States. China had the second most billionaires with 115, while Russia was third with 101. Asia moved up to 332 billionaires, passing Europe as a region for the first time since the 1990s. The 2011 list included 214 newcomers and the average net worth of those on it increased to $3.7 billion. [34]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Carlos Slim & family$74.0 billion Increase2.svg71Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
2Steady2.svg Bill Gates $56.0 billion Increase2.svg55Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
3Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $50.0 billion Increase2.svg80Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
4Increase2.svg Bernard Arnault $41.0 billion Increase2.svg62Flag of France.svg  France LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
5Increase2.svg Larry Ellison $39.5 billion Increase2.svg66Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
6Decrease2.svg Lakshmi Mittal $31.1 billion Increase2.svg60Flag of India.svg  India Arcelor Mittal
7Increase2.svg Amancio Ortega $31.0 billion Increase2.svg74Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex Group
8Steady2.svg Eike Batista $30.0 billion Increase2.svg53Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil EBX Group
9Decrease2.svg Mukesh Ambani $27.0 billion Decrease2.svg54Flag of India.svg  India Reliance Industries
10Increase2.svg Christy Walton & family$26.5 billion Increase2.svg62Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart

2010

Slim narrowly eclipsed Gates to top the billionaire list for the first time. Slim saw his estimated worth surge $18.5 billion to $53.5 billion as shares of America Movil rose 35 percent. Gates' estimated wealth rose $13 billion to $53 billion, placing him second. Warren Buffett was third with $47 billion. [36] Christy Walton was the highest-ranking woman, placing 12th overall, with an inherited fortune of $22.5 billion. [37] At age 25, Mark Zuckerberg continued to be the world's youngest self-made billionaire. [7] American Isaac Perlmutter was among the newcomers with an estimated fortune of $4 billion largely acquired in his sale of Marvel Entertainment to Disney. [36]

A total of 1,011 people made the 2010 list. The United States accounted for 403 billionaires, followed by China with 89 and Russia with 62. [37] It was the first time China, while including Hong Kong, placed second. [36] A total of 55 countries were represented on the 2010 list, including Finland and Pakistan which claimed their first billionaires. [37] Eighty-nine women made the list, but only 14 of them were self-made. [37] The combined net worth of the list was $3.6 trillion, up 50 percent from 2009's $2.4 trillion, while the average net worth was $3.5 billion. [7]

The 2010 list featured 164 re-entries and 97 true newcomers. [7] Asia accounted for more than 100 of the new entrants. Overall, just 12 percent of the list lost wealth since 2009, and 30 people fell off the list. 13 others died. [36] Of the 89 women, 12 were newcomers in 2010. Steve Forbes said the growing number of billionaires was a clear sign that the world's economy was recovering from 2009's global financial crisis. [7]

In June 2010, Gates and Buffett announced the Giving Pledge, a promise to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. As of 2017, the pledge had 158 signatories, but some of the signatories have since died. Most of the signers of the pledge are billionaires, and their pledges total over $365 billion. [38]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Increase2.svg Carlos Slim & family$53.5 billion Increase2.svg70Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
2Decrease2.svg Bill Gates $53.0 billion Increase2.svg54Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
3Decrease2.svg Warren Buffett $47.0 billion Increase2.svg79Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
4Increase2.svg Mukesh Ambani $29.0 billion Increase2.svg53Flag of India.svg  India Reliance Industries
5Increase2.svg Lakshmi Mittal $28.7 billion Increase2.svg60Flag of India.svg  India Arcelor Mittal
6Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $28.0 billion Increase2.svg66Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
7Increase2.svg Bernard Arnault $27.5 billion Increase2.svg61Flag of France.svg  France LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
8Increase2.svg Eike Batista $27.0 billion Increase2.svg53Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil EBX Group
9Increase2.svg Amancio Ortega $25.0 billion Increase2.svg74Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex Group
10Decrease2.svg Karl Albrecht $23.5 billion Increase2.svg90Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd

2009

In the wake of the Financial crisis of 2007–2008, the world's billionaires lost $2 trillion in net worth and the list became 30% smaller than the previous year's list. [39]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Increase2.svg Bill Gates $40.0 billion Decrease2.svg53Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Decrease2.svg Warren Buffett $37.0 billion Decrease2.svg78Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Decrease2.svg Carlos Slim $35.0 billion Decrease2.svg69Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
4Increase2.svg Larry Ellison $22.5 billion Decrease2.svg64Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
5Increase2.svg Ingvar Kamprad $22.0 billion Decrease2.svg83Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden IKEA
6Increase2.svg Karl Albrecht $21.5 billion Decrease2.svg89Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd
7Decrease2.svg Mukesh Ambani $19.5 billion Decrease2.svg52Flag of India.svg  India Reliance Industries
8Decrease2.svg Lakshmi Mittal $19.3 billion Decrease2.svg58Flag of India.svg  India Arcelor Mittal
9Increase2.svg Theo Albrecht $18.8 billion Decrease2.svg87Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Nord, Trader Joe's
10Increase2.svg Amancio Ortega $18.3 billion Decrease2.svg73Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex Group

2008

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, four years after starting the company, joined the list at 23 to become the youngest self-made billionaire.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Increase2.svg Warren Buffett $62.0 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
2Increase2.svg Carlos Slim $60.0 billion Increase2.svg68Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
3Decrease2.svg Bill Gates $58.0 billion Increase2.svg52Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
4Increase2.svg Lakshmi Mittal $45.0 billion Increase2.svg57Flag of India.svg  India Arcelor Mittal
5Increase2.svg Mukesh Ambani $43.0 billion Increase2.svg51Flag of India.svg  India Reliance Industries
6Increase2.svg Anil Ambani $42.0 billion Increase2.svg48Flag of India.svg  India Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group
7Decrease2.svg Ingvar Kamprad $31.0 billion Decrease2.svg81Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden IKEA
8Increase2.svg Kushal Pal Singh $30.0 billion Increase2.svg76Flag of India.svg  India DLF Group
9Increase2.svg Oleg Deripaska $28.0 billion Increase2.svg40Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Rusal
10Increase2.svg Karl Albrecht $27.0 billion Increase2.svg88Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd

2007

Forbes recorded a then record of 946 billionaires. There were 178 newcomers, as well as the first billionaires from Cyprus, Oman, Romania and Serbia. Over 66% of the previous year's billionaires became richer. The billionaires' net worth increased in 2007 by $900 billion to $3.5 trillion. [40]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $56.0 billion Increase2.svg51Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $52.0 billion Increase2.svg76Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Steady2.svg Carlos Slim $49.0 billion Increase2.svg67Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
4Steady2.svg Ingvar Kamprad $33.0 billion Increase2.svg80Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden IKEA
5Steady2.svg Lakshmi Mittal $32.0 billion Increase2.svg56Flag of India.svg  India Arcelor Mittal
6Increase2.svg Sheldon Adelson $26.5 billion Increase2.svg73Flag of the United States.svg  United States Las Vegas Sands
7Steady2.svg Bernard Arnault $26.0 billion Increase2.svg58Flag of France.svg  France LVMH
8Increase2.svg Amancio Ortega $24.0 billion Increase2.svg71Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Inditex Group
9Increase2.svg Li Ka-shing $23.0 billion Increase2.svg78Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Cheung Kong Holdings, Hutchison Whampoa
10Increase2.svg David Thomson $22.0 billion Increase2.svg49Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Thomson Corporation

2006

Free cash used by consumers from home equity extraction, known as the real estate bubble created a total of nearly $5 trillion in 2005, contributing to economic growth worldwide. [41]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $52.0 billion Increase2.svg50Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $42.0 billion Decrease2.svg75Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Increase2.svg Carlos Slim $30.0 billion Increase2.svg66Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
4Increase2.svg Ingvar Kamprad $28.0 billion Increase2.svg79Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden IKEA
5Decrease2.svg Lakshmi Mittal $23.5 billion Decrease2.svg55Flag of India.svg  India Mittal Steel Company
6Increase2.svg Paul Allen $22.0 billion Increase2.svg53Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
7Increase2.svg Bernard Arnault $21.5 billion Increase2.svg57Flag of France.svg  France LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
8Decrease2.svg Al-Waleed bin Talal $20.0 billion Decrease2.svg49Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Kingdom Holding Company
9Increase2.svg Kenneth Thomson $19.6 billion Increase2.svg82Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Thomson Corporation
10Increase2.svg Li Ka-shing $18.8 billion Increase2.svg77Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Cheung Kong Group, Hutchison Whampoa

2005

The net worth of 2005's 691 billionaires was $2.2 trillion. More than half of them had self-made fortunes. [42]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $46.5 billion Decrease2.svg49Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $44.0 billion Increase2.svg74Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Increase2.svg Lakshmi Mittal $25.0 billion Increase2.svg54Flag of India.svg  India Mittal Steel Company
4Increase2.svg Carlos Slim $23.8 billion Increase2.svg65Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico América Móvil, Grupo Carso
5Decrease2.svg Al-Waleed bin Talal $23.7 billion Increase2.svg49Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Kingdom Holding Company
6Increase2.svg Ingvar Kamprad $23.0 billion Increase2.svg79Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden IKEA
7Decrease2.svg Paul Allen $21.0 billion Steady2.svg52Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
8Decrease2.svg Karl Albrecht $18.5 billion Decrease2.svg85Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd
9Increase2.svg Larry Ellison $18.4 billion Decrease2.svg60Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
10Steady2.svg S. Robson Walton $18.3 billion Decrease2.svg61Flag of the United States.svg  United States Walmart

2004

The founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, became billionaires at age 30.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $46.6 billion Increase2.svg48Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $42.9 billion Increase2.svg73Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Steady2.svg Karl Albrecht $23.0 billion Increase2.svg84Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd
4Increase2.svg Al-Waleed bin Talal $21.5 billion Increase2.svg47Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Kingdom Holding Company
5Decrease2.svg Paul Allen $21.0 billion Increase2.svg51Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
6Increase2.svg Alice Walton *$20.0 billion Increase2.svg55Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
6Increase2.svg Helen Walton *$20.0 billion Increase2.svg84Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
6Increase2.svg Jim Walton *$20.0 billion Increase2.svg56Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
6Increase2.svg John Walton *$20.0 billion Increase2.svg58Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
6Increase2.svg S. Robson Walton *$20.0 billion Increase2.svg60Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart

* Each hold an essentially equal share in Walmart.

2003

Oprah Winfrey became the first female African-American billionaire.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $40.7 billion Decrease2.svg47Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $30.5 billion Decrease2.svg72Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Steady2.svg Karl and Theo Albrecht $25.6 billion Decrease2.svg83Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd
4Steady2.svg Paul Allen $20.1 billion Decrease2.svg50Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
5Increase2.svg Al-Waleed bin Talal $17.7 billion Decrease2.svg46Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Kingdom Holding Company
6Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $16.6 billion Decrease2.svg58Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
7Decrease2.svg Alice Walton *$16.5 billion Decrease2.svg54Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
7Decrease2.svg Helen Walton *$16.5 billion Decrease2.svg83Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
7Decrease2.svg Jim Walton *$16.5 billion Decrease2.svg55Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
7Decrease2.svg John Walton *$16.5 billion Decrease2.svg57Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
7Decrease2.svg S. Robson Walton *$16.5 billion Decrease2.svg59Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart

* Each hold an essentially equal share in Walmart.

2002

As a result of the market crash caused by the Dot-com bubble, 83 billionaires dropped off the list from the previous year.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $52.8 billion Decrease2.svg46Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Steady2.svg Warren Buffett $35.0 billion Increase2.svg71Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Increase2.svg Karl and Theo Albrecht $26.8 billion Increase2.svg82Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd
4Decrease2.svg Paul Allen $25.2 billion Decrease2.svg49Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
5Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $23.5 billion Decrease2.svg57Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
6Increase2.svg Jim Walton *$20.8 billion Increase2.svg54Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
7Increase2.svg John Walton *$20.7 billion Increase2.svg56Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
8Increase2.svg Alice Walton *$20.5 billion Increase2.svg53Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
8Increase2.svg S. Robson Walton *$20.5 billion Increase2.svg58Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
8Increase2.svg Helen Walton *$20.5 billion Increase2.svg82Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart

* Each hold an essentially equal share in Walmart.

2001

In 2001, BET founder Robert L. Johnson became the first ever African-American billionaire. [43]

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1Steady2.svg Bill Gates $58.7 billion Decrease2.svg45Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2Increase2.svg Warren Buffett $32.3 billion Increase2.svg70Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
3Steady2.svg Paul Allen $30.4 billion Increase2.svg48Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
4Decrease2.svg Larry Ellison $26.0 billion Decrease2.svg56Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
5Steady2.svg Karl and Theo Albrecht $25.0 billion Increase2.svg81Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi
6Steady2.svg Al-Waleed bin Talal $20.0 billion Steady2.svg44Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Kingdom Holding Company
7Increase2.svg Jim Walton *$18.8 billion Increase2.svg53Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
8Increase2.svg John Walton *$18.7 billion Increase2.svg55Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
9Increase2.svg S. Robson Walton *$18.6 billion Increase2.svg57Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
10Increase2.svg Alice Walton *$18.5 billion Increase2.svg52Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
10Increase2.svg Helen Walton *$18.5 billion Increase2.svg81Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart

* Each hold an essentially equal share in Wal-Mart. Had he been alive in 2001, Sam Walton would have been the world's wealthiest person.

2000

Gates became the first American to take the top spot of the world's billionaires in 1995 with a net worth of $12.5 billion, and he remained there during the dot-com bubble's height in 1999 when his fortune peaked at $90 billion. After the dot-com bubble started to collapse in 2000, his wealth dropped to $60 billion, although he remained at the top of the list.

No.Name Net worth (USD)Age Nationality Source(s) of wealth
1 Bill Gates $60.0 billion44Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
2 Larry Ellison $47.0 billion 55Flag of the United States.svg  United States Oracle Corporation
3 Paul Allen $28.0 billion47Flag of the United States.svg  United States Microsoft
4 Warren Buffett $25.6 billion69Flag of the United States.svg  United States Berkshire Hathaway
5 Karl and Theo Albrecht $20.0 billion 80Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Aldi Süd
6 Al-Waleed bin Talal $20.0 billion43Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Kingdom Holding Company
7 S. Robson Walton $20.0 billion57Flag of the United States.svg  United States Wal-Mart
8 Masayoshi Son $19.4 billion43Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Softbank Capital, SoftBank Mobile
9 Michael Dell $19.1 billion35Flag of the United States.svg  United States Dell
10 Kenneth Thomson $16.1 billion77Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada The Thomson Corporation

Statistics

The dot-com bubble created the most paper wealth for some billionaires. However, once the dotcom bubble burst the new rich saw their fortunes disappear. [44] Billionaires' fortunes were hit even harder by the global financial crisis; 2009 was the first time in five years that the world had a net loss in the number of billionaires. [45] The strong performance of the financial markets and global economic recovery have erased financial assets losses. Most of the richest people in the world saw their fortunes soar in the early 2010s. [46] [47]

Number and combined net worth of billionaires by year [48]
YearNumber of billionairesGroup's combined net worth
2021 [2] 2,75513.1 trillion
20202,095$8.0 trillion
20192,153$8.7 trillion
20182,208$9.1 trillion
20172,043$7.7 trillion
20161,810$6.5 trillion
2015 [15] 1,826$7.1 trillion
2014 [49] 1,645$6.4 trillion
2013 [50] 1,426$5.4 trillion
20121,226$4.6 trillion
20111,210$4.5 trillion
20101,011$3.6 trillion
2009793$2.4 trillion
20081,125$4.4 trillion
2007946$3.5 trillion
2006793$2.6 trillion
2005691$2.2 trillion
2004587$1.9 trillion
2003476$1.4 trillion
2002497$1.5 trillion
2001538$1.8 trillion
2000470
Sources: Forbes . [15] [49] [48] [50]

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