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World’s billionaires have seen their combined wealth soar by $5.1 trillion to $13.1 trillion Forbes reveals as the number of super-rich making the list soars by 660 to 2,755

 A record-breaking 2,755 billionaires now make up Forbes’ annual list, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos top of the pile for the fourth consecutive year as the wealthiest saw huge gains in investments even as the global economy sagged during the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's billionaires are worth a combined $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion last year, according to Forbes, meaning overall they saw their combined wealth soar by $5.1 trillion in the past 12 months.

The number of billionaires on the list of the world's richest people grew by 660 people in 2020, Forbes said - a record increase - meaning there are now more billionaires on the planet than ever.

And overall, 86 percent of the people on the list are more wealthy than they were last year, Forbes said.

There were 493 newcomers on the list as well, meaning a new billionaire was minted once every 17 hours.

The ranks of the ultra-wealthy are expanding after a year in which the coronavirus pandemic upended world economies and threatened the livelihoods of people across the globe.

At No. 1, Amazon's Bezos clocked in at a staggering $177B, cementing his spot as the wealthiest billionaire on the list.  

Elon Musk, the boss of electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, zoomed into the No. 2 spot with $151 billion. Tesla stock is up more than 560 percent over the past year, helping put a motor under Musk's worth.  

For comparison, the median net worth in the U.S. is $121,411, according to Federal Reserve data. Median means half the country is worth more and half is worth less. 

Even the 'top one percent' that is oftentimes touted as the country's elite had an average household net worth of just over $11 million in 2020 - a far cry from the billionaire's list.

Bezos' wealth grew by $63B as Amazon capitaized on the surge in demand for online shopping during the pandemic, while Musk's wealth jumped a staggering $125.5B, taking him from 31st place last year to second in 2021. 

And the richest cities are tilting toward China: Five of the top 10 richest cities in the world are within China, if counting Hong Kong, which comes in at No. 3. 

Beijing takes the top crown for city with the most billionaires at 100, while New York comes in at No. 2 - just shy of the top with 99. 

Tech billionaires, meanwhile, increasingly dominate the list, Forbes says: They're worth a combined $2.5 trillion on the list, up about 80 percent from the $1.4 trillion they logged in at last year. 

And 365 of the billionaires had fortunes made in technology, Forbes said - up from 241 last year.

Jeff Bezos had a staggering $177B, cementing his spot as the wealthiest billionaire on the list. Pictured in Mumbai, India, on Jan. 16, 2020, with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez

Jeff Bezos had a staggering $177B, cementing his spot as the wealthiest billionaire on the list. Pictured in Mumbai, India, on Jan. 16, 2020, with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk jumped into second spot on the list with $155B, up from 31st last year. He's pictured with his baby X Æ A-12, which he had with musician Grimes.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk jumped into second spot on the list with $155B, up from 31st last year. He's pictured with his baby X Æ A-12, which he had with musician Grimes.


The tech industry is the second-biggest contributor to the list, coming just under finance and investments, which has 371. 

'The very, very rich got very, very richer,' said Forbes' Chief Content Officer Randall Lane, in an interview with Reuters Video News. 

Of the 660 who were added to the list this year, 493 were brand new to the list. (Some had fallen off and re-gained their status.)

The increase of 493 brand new billionaires means one was minted roughly every 17 hours, according to Forbes calculations. 

The U.S. has the most people on the list, with 724. China has 698 when including Macao and Hong Kong.

Bernard Arnault
Bill Gates

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates were the next two wealthiest billionaires

Mark Zuckerberg
Warren Buffett

Investor and business tycoon Warren Buffett fell out of the top five for the first time in over two decades, as tech executives dominate the Forbes rankings and as Mark Zuckerberg knocked him out for the fifth seat

Stock prices from March 5 were used to calculate net worth, Forbes said.   

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH; Microsoft founder Bill Gates; and Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg round out the top five of the world's richest billionaires.

Arnault, Gates and Zuckerberg - now worth $150B, $124B and $97B respectively - all saw gains as well. Arnault's wealth rose by $74B, Gates' rose by $26B, and Zuckerberg's increased by $42B.

Investor and business tycoon Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, fell out of the top five for the first time in over two decades, as tech executives dominated the Forbes rankings.


Other notables included Michael Bloomberg, with $59 billion, at 20; and Nike founder Phil Knight, with $49.9 billion, at 25. Oprah and her $2.7billion secured the 1174 spot.

MacKenzie Scott, the Amazon CEO's ex-wife, was 22 on the list with $53billion. 

There were only six women in the top 50 billionaires. 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey came in at 173 with $12.5billion. 

Former President Donald Trump notably dropped almost 300 spots as he had an estimated worth of $2.4billion, putting him at spot 1,299. 

Last year, Trump came in at 1,001 on the list.

Of the top 50 billionaires, 24 of them are from the United States. Only 10 are from China. 

But while he has fallen lower on the list, the former president is still richer than he was when the pandemic started last year.

The rate at which his wealth grew was slower than that of others on the list. 

This year's list has 493 newcomers, includes Whitney Wolfe Herd, chief executive of dating app Bumble, which went public this year. She came in at 2,263 with $1.3billion. 

Kim Kardashian is 2674th on the list of Forbes Billionaires. Since October, her net worth has increased from $780million to $1billion, according to the magazine. 

Kardashian has amassed an estimated fortune $1billion through her firm KKW Beauty and shapewear brand Skims. 

The star, who is no stranger to controversy, was heavily criticised last year after she celebrated her 40th birthday on a private island. Critics slammed the getaway as ‘tone deaf’. 

Ex-husband Kanye West is also on the list - he is ahead of Kim, in 1750th place with a net worth of $1.8billion. 

Kylie Jenner is no longer on the list, after selling a 51 percent stake of her company in 2020. 

Last April, Kanye West was named a billionaire by Forbes - largely the most trustworthy media authority on who gets the name - after pleading with them for months to look at his financials.

He said they'd snubbed him repeatedly for years, leaving him off of the annual April list, because of his race.

He showed them financial records from his enormously successful sneaker and clothes line, Yeezy, which backed up his status.

It's unclear how their respective fortunes will be divided in their divorce, but it is more than likely the pair signed a pre-nuptial agreement when they got married in 2014.  

This year's list has 493 newcomers, including Kim Kardashian - who came in at 2674th on the list
Kanye West is also on the list - he is ahead of Kim, in 1750th place with a net worth of $1.8billion. Kylie Jenner is no longer on the list, after selling a 51 percent stake of her company in 2020

This year's list has 493 newcomers, including Kim Kardashian - who came in at 2674th on the list. Kanye West is also on the list - and the ex-husband is ahead of Kim, in 1750th place with a net worth of $1.8billion

Kim is the third person in her family to earn billionaire status. 

Kylie Jenner, her 23-year-old sister, was the first in 2018 when, aged 21, she was named the youngest self-made billionaire in history. 

New to the list is Miriam Adelson, widow of Sheldon Adelson who died earlier this year. The Trump supporter and CEO of Sands Entertainment appears to have left his wife his entire fortune. She clocks in at $38.2 billion - good for No. 36. 

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks are up more than 10 percent so far this year, so billionaires are likely - at least so far - to be racking up gains in the coming year, too - perhaps cementing even more into the rich list. 

Yesterday the UK-based High Pay Centre said the Forbes figures showed how wealth was flowing to ‘a tiny number of super-rich individuals’.

Luke Hildyard, the think-tank’s director, said: ‘It’s impossible to “earn” a billion dollars. Nobody is that much smarter or more productive than anybody else.

‘This kind of wealth is what some commentators have called “systems money” because it’s generated through political and economic power, not hard work.’ 

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