For the fourth consecutive year, Jeff Bezos rose to the top of Forbes’ annual list of billionaires.
In spite of an international pandemic and economic downturn, Forbes’s annual list of billionaires shows that the worlds richest has increased in the past year by more than 5 trillion dollars.
The 35th annual listing of Forbes billionaires, published Tuesday, showed a record 2 755 billionaires worldwide in 2021. Of those who have not made the decrease in 2020, there are 493 new billionaires on the list this year.
The global billionaires’ combined wealth by March 2021 stood at around $13.1 trillion – up from the total of $8 trillion in March 2020.
“The combined net value of the world’s billions was also the first time to reach twice as many trillions,” added Dolan. “The rate of creation of tremendous fortunes is amazing.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was the fourth consecutive year to top the list with a net value of $177 billion. CEO of Tesla Elon Musk arrived at No. 2 at $151 billion, up from 31 last year on the list. Other billionaires are Bernard Arnault (150 billion dollars net) on No 3, Bill Gates (124 billion dollars) on No 4, and Mark Zuckerberg (97 billion dollars) on No 5.
This is the first year since 1993 that Warren Buffet, No. 6, did not list the top five billionaires in Forbes. Its net value is 96 billion dollars.
Despite the pain elsewhere in the economy, the Elite’s wealth is inextricably linked to the stock market, which suffered early in the pandemic but has since rebounded to new heights. The methodology used by Forbes, notably, from March 5, 2021 stock and exchange prices to calculate net worth for the list of this year. On March 18, 2020, for the list last year, wealth was measured very close to the bottom of the stock market.
Many economists have warned that the pandemic has widened America’s wealth gap by exacerbating income disparities, as low-wage workers have been laid off while white collar workers can continue to work remotely in industries that require face-to-face contact.
Last month, the US unemployment rate was 6%. Unemployment was historically low at 3.5% in February 2020 before the COVID-19 shock to the labor market.
In contrast to the 281 billionaires who inherited their wealth and 499 billionaires who inherited and then grew significant amounts of wealth, Forbes this year identified around 1.975 billionaires as self-made.
According to Forbes, China is not far behind (with 698 billionaires), but the U.S. has more billionaires than any other country (724 total). While most are men, this year’s figures are 328 millionaires, compared to 241 in 2020. The majority are men.
Forbes said some of the common ways of getting her wealth were through cryptocurrency, SPAC, traditional IPOs, and VOID-related healthcare. Another notable trend from the report this year was that of nearly 500 new billionaire workers in 2021.
Finally, the real TV star and make-up entrepreneur Kylie Jenner is a remarkable individual who appeared on the 2020 billionaires list but did not make the cut in 2021. However, her sister, Kim Kardashian, first made this year’s list of billionaires.
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