IIt has been a glorious pandemic for the richest people in the world. Forbes’ annual survey of billionaires includes a record 2,755 billionaires, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos once again topping the list, the media company said Tuesday.
The ranks of the super-rich swelled as the coronavirus pandemic threatened the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the globe, but stock markets continued to hit new highs.
Bezos was one of the biggest winners, topping the poll for the fourth year in a row with a fortune of $ 177 billion, while Tesla boss Elon Musk rose to second place with a fortune of $ 151 billion, $ 126.4 billion. million more than a year ago, when it ranked No. 31 and was worth “only” $ 24.6 billion.
Together, the plutocrats added $ 5 trillion to their wealth for a combined fortune of $ 13.1 trillion, up from $ 8 trillion on the 2020 list. A record 493 people joined the list this year: a new billionaire. every 17 hours. The majority, 205, were in China. But the gains were widespread with gains around the world.
Not everyone was a winner. According to the latest list, Donald Trump’s position among other billionaires has plummeted nearly 300 places since 2020, to 1,299. The humiliating fall sits in Forbes alongside a quote from the former president that reads, “I took a lot of finance courses at Wharton. First they taught you all the rules and regulations. Then they taught you that those rules and regulations are bound to be broken. “
Trump has lost millions at his retail stores, hotels, and golf courses in recent years. But it appears that companies that were distancing themselves from Trump after the Capitol attack continue to lease their properties, helping him raise millions on some properties in the last year.
Among the other losers was Galen Weston, chairman emeritus of George Weston, the Canadian food and retail giant who also owns Selfridges, who was pulled off the list as the retail sector struggled with the aftermath of the pandemic. Model and businesswoman Kylie Jenner was also delisted after it was revealed that she had inflated her sales figures to enter the 2020 list. But the Kardashians got a win, her sister Kim Kardashian West (whose bio reads: ” I feel like success is the best revenge “) was officially declared a billionaire.
Kanye West, Kardashian West’s estranged husband, also maintained his billionaire status with a $ 1.8 billion fortune.
Sixty-one billionaires left the list this year, the fewest dropouts in a decade. Among them was Isabel dos Santos, once the richest woman in Africa, who fell amid accusations of corruption.
But this was overall a great year to be a billionaire. Eighty-six percent of the list increased their wealth.
New entrants included television and film producer Tyler Perry, who provided a home and security for Prince Harry and Meghan when they moved from Canada to Los Angeles last year.
Bumble dating app co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, 31, became the world’s youngest billionaire and Guillaume Pousaz, 39, founder of payments firm Checkout.com, the world’s youngest billionaire.
Britain’s richest man, James Ratcliffe, founder, president and majority owner of the chemical company Ineos Group, climbed five places on the list to 113 with a fortune of $ 17 billion.
The richest newcomer was Miriam Adelson from Nevada, who inherited her husband Sheldon Adelson’s casino empire following his death in January and a fortune of $ 38.2 billion.
About 250 previously unlisted people rejoined this year. A rising tide apparently lifts all the megayachts.
But it was the incredibly wealthy who made the biggest profits. 0.001% did even better than their lower peers. The top 10 richest people on the list are worth $ 1.15 trillion, up from $ 686 billion last year.
“The very, very rich got very, very rich,” Forbes chief content officer Randall Lane said in an interview with Reuters Video News.
Meanwhile, the pandemic seeks to increase the number of people living in extreme poverty by up to 150 million people this year, the first year the number compiled by the world bank has risen in 20 years.