In a year that witnessed an unprecedented global crisis, the world broke a new record for millionaires. The annual list of the richest people in the world now includes 2,775 billionaires, an increase of 660 from the previous year. Amazon owner Jeff Bezos tops the ranking for the fourth year in a row, and there’s a Portuguese family on the list.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the global economy into a deep recession. But while many families faced poverty head-on, others took advantage of the current situation to increase wealth. According to Forbes’ estimates, in 2020 the world saw a new millionaires be born every 17 hours.
The record number of 2775 millionaires has been reached with 493 new entries on the list, many of them resulting from registrations on corporate exchanges, from records in stock prices, but also by investing in the cryptocurrency business. 210 of the new entries are from China and Hong Kong and 98 from the USA. More than half of the new millionaires are, in fact, people who have already left the ranking, but have returned to the elite group within the past year.
In total, these billionaires are currently worth around 11 billion euros, an increase of nearly 7 billion compared to 2020. According to Forbes data, within one year, 86% of the world’s richest people have seen their fortunes increase.
Who are the richest men in the world?
Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world with an estimated wealth of 149 billion euros. The founder of Amazon Blue Origin, a space travel company that develops missiles for commercial tourism, and the owner of the American “Washington Post” newspaper, increased his fortune by more than 53 billion euros last year. The 57-year-old saw Amazon shares rise as never before due to increased internet purchases in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bezos tops the Forbes ranking for the fourth year in a row.
Second place on the podium is Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla, a company that produces and sells high-performance electric cars, is worth around 127 billion euros. Adding more than 106 billion to his fortune, the South African-born engineer rose from 31st to second place in the ranking. The main driver for this growth was Tesla shares up by 705%. The 49-year-old entrepreneur is currently one of the pioneers of electric mobility and wants to revolutionize space travel with SpaceX, a space exploration company now valued at more than 62 billion euros.
The top three ends with the French mogul Bernard Arnault, who maintained their position last year. The CEO of LVMH, a French multinational luxury goods company, is estimated to be worth around 126 million euros. LVMH owns several brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Loewe, Guerlain, Bulgari, Hublot, and Sephora cosmetic retail stores. In 2020, the 72-year-old Frenchman’s fortune nearly doubled due to an 86% increase in LVMH shares. In January 2021, the multinational company acquired American jewelery Tiffany & Co for more than $ 13 billion.
Although in March 2020 he stepped down as a member of Microsoft’s board of directors, Bill Gates is still on the list of the world’s richest men. At the age of 65, his fortune is estimated at 104 billion euros, and therefore he ranks fourth in the ranking. Bill Gates and his wife chair the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, dedicated to creating equal and fair opportunities for people around the world. He is one of the major sponsors of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that Bill Gates spent about $ 300 million in total on research funding and disease detection and treatment methods. It owns shares in Microsoft, Canadian National Railways and Deere & Company, a tractor manufacturer, these are the main factors of its fortune.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ranked fifth on the list, with an estimated wealth of € 81 billion. The social network founded in 2004 is now worth 35 billion euros more than it was in 2020, because Facebook posts rose by 80% last year, as people started using social media platforms a lot more in order to stay in touch.
Warren Buffett, at the age of 90, is the sixth richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of 81 billion euros. It is the first time since 1993 that an entrepreneur has not appeared in the top five places on this list. However, this does not mean that it has been a bad year, this man’s fortune has grown by more than 24 billion euros. The American runs Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational corporation that owns more than 60 companies, including insurance company Geico, battery manufacturer Duracell, and restaurant chain Dairy Queen. Berkshire Hathaway also has stakes in major companies such as American Express, Coca-Cola Company, Bank of America and Apple.
Seventh place in the American ranking, Larry Ellison. The president, chief technology officer, and co-founder of software company Oracle is worth € 76 billion. Despite two places falling in the ranking, in 2020 Larry’s fortune increased by more than 28 billion euros. In 2018, the American bought 3 million shares of Tesla, and thus owns a stake in one of the largest auto companies today.
Larry Page is the eighth richest man at the moment. At the age of 48, the American possesses an estimated wealth of 77 billion euros. Larry advanced five places in the ranking, due to his increase of 34 billion euros. In 1998, he co-founded Google with colleague Sergey Brin, and together he invented the PageRank algorithm, which powers Google’s search engine. Between 2011 and 2015 he was CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, a holding company that owns several companies. American is currently funding startups like Kitty Hawk and Opener. Paige is also an investor and founder of space exploration company, Planetary Resources.
Ninth place on this list is Sergey Brin. The Google co-founder and lead behind the PageRank algorithm, together with Larry Page, is estimated to have an estimated wealth of € 75 billion. In 2019, Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, but he remains a shareholder and director of the company. At the age of 47, the Russian who holds American citizenship has climbed five places in the ranking of the world’s richest countries, and Brin is expected to be one of the financiers of a fully electric aviation project.
The top ten ends with Mukesh Ambani, founder and president of Reliance Industries, which has a fortune of € 71 billion. At 63 years old, he is the richest Indian in the world with many companies in petrochemical, fuel, telecom and retail. During 2020, it sold a third of India’s telecom company Jio to a group of investors, including Facebook and Google, for $ 20 billion. The businessman left the 21st place to join the list of the 10 richest people in the world.
The United States of America is the country with the largest number of millionaires, with a total of 724, followed by China (including Macau and Hong Kong), which is represented by 698 millionaires. India completed the top five richest countries, followed by Germany and finally Russia.
In Europe, much of the richest fortunes come from the fashion industry, as is the case with Bernard Arnault (third) and Spain’s Amancio Ortega, owner of the Inditex group (which includes brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull & Bear, and Stradivarius). It is ranked 11th in the ranking of the richest men at the moment.
However, Germany leads the number of millionaires in Europe, with 136 people on the list, and German fortunes are the result of investment in small retailers, for example Aldi supermarket owners and Lidl supermarkets are the richest men in Germany, with fortunes. Between 36 and 39 billion euros.
In place number 608, there is the only Portuguese family with a presence on the list of millionaires. The Amorim family has an estimated wealth of 4.7 billion euros, an increase of nearly one billion euros compared to 2020.
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