How Many Billionaires Are in the World?
For most people, it’s hard to imagine having even a million dollars, let a billion. However, fortunes totaling $1 billion — and much, much more — are a reality for the richest people in the world.
To put this in perspective, the median net worth of all American families was $121,700 as of 2019, according to the Federal Reserve. A billion dollars is nearly 8,217 times that amount.
Of course, all things aren’t equal even when a person amasses a billion-dollar fortune. Some people barely cross the finish line, while the absolute richest of the rich have accumulated so many billions, they’re in a league of their own.
Still, earning a billion dollars is a pretty incredible thing — and more people have done it than you might imagine. In fact, this level of wealth is much more widespread today than it was in the past.
Ready to find out how many billionaires are in the world right now? Keep reading to find out.
How Many Billionaires Are There in the World in 2022?
Achieving billionaire status is a very big deal, but not as difficult as it once was. Today, there are more than 19 times the amount of billionaires in the world than in 1987.
Specifically, there are 2,668 billionaires as of March 11, 2022, according to Forbes. However, only 140 people were in the exclusive billion-dollar club back in 1987.
By far, most of the world’s billionaires are from the U.S. — 735 as of March of this year, as noted by Forbes. Next is China (539), followed by India (166), Germany (134) and Russia (83).
Who Is the No. 1 Richest Person in the World?
Now that you know how many billionaires are in the world, you’re probably wondering which one is the richest. While it’s easy to group them into the same super-elite category, some billionaires are definitely a lot wealthier than others.
Of the 10 richest people on the planet, seven reside in the U.S. and all are men, according to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires list. Some are self-made individuals, while others are grouped together under a family empire.
While the title of the richest person in the world tends to go back and forth between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the Tesla, SpaceX and Boring Company founder is currently in the lead. Here’s a look at the net worths of Musk and the nine other richest people on the planet as of Sept. 2.
1. Elon Musk, $250.5 Billion
Musk’s net worth has surged in recent years. While still an incredible amount of money, the 51-year-old founder of six companies was worth just $24.6 billion in 2020.
2. Bernard Arnault and Family, $155.1 Billion
Based in France, 73-year-old Bernard Arnault helms luxury goods company LVMH — its 75 luxury brands include Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Dom Pérignon and Moet & Chandon. His net worth skyrocketed from $72 billion in 2018 to $158 billion in 2022, according to Forbes.
3. Jeff Bezos, $151.9 Billion
Founding Amazon out of his Seattle garage in 1994 has made Jeff Bezos one of the richest people in the world. The 58-year-old resigned as the company’s CEO in July 2021 and now serves as its executive chairman.
4. Gautam Adani and Family, $147 Billion
A self-made infrastructure tycoon, 60-year-old Adani’s conglomerate, Adani Group, has holdings in real estate, commodities, infrastructure, power generation and transmission. In September 2020, he scored a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport, making him India’s largest airport operator.
5. Bill Gates, $106.3 Billion
The 66-year-old Microsoft co-founder stepped down from the company’s board in March 2020, but still reigns as one of the richest people in the world.
6. Larry Ellison, $103 Billion
The 78-year-old co-founded software company Oracle and continues to serve as its chairman and chief technology officer.
7. Warren Buffett, $96.7 Billion
One of the most successful investors in history, Warren Buffett earned his fortune as the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Still working, the 92-year-old has seen a notable increase in his net worth since 2018, when his fortune was an estimated $84 billion.
8. Larry Page, $92.8 Billion
A co-founder of Alphabet — the parent company of Google — 49-year-old Larry Page’s fortune has surged since 2018, when he was worth $48.8 billion. Previously CEO of Google, he transitioned into the top job at Alphabet after the parent company was formed in 2015, but eventually stepped down from the role in December 2019.
9. Mukesh Ambani, $92.2 Billion
Based in India, 65-year-old Mukesh Ambani serves as the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd. The company has a vast portfolio, spanning retail, entertainment, digital services, energy and materials.
10. Sergey Brin, $88.9 Billion
After co-founding Google, 49-year-old Sergey Brin became the president of Alphabet when the company was restructured in 2015. He stepped down from his role in December 2019, along with Page.
‘Poorest’ Billionaires in the World
To the average person, a billionaire is wealthy beyond comprehension. However, there are different tiers of wealth among the top 1% of the world.
For example, nearly 750 people on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list for 2022 have a net worth of $1.5 billion or below as of March 11. This is obviously a monumental difference from Musk’s current $250.5 billion fortune.
In fact, only around 200 people on the list have a net worth above $10 billion as of March. Therefore, it’s easy to see the clear wealth hierarchy even among the billionaire crowd.
As for those worth $2 billion or less, there are quite a few recognizable names on the list. Here are some of the most notable names that made the World’s Billionaires list, along with their current net worths as of Sept. 2, according to Forbes’ real-time data:
- Kanye West, entrepreneur and musician, $2 billion
- Tim Cook, Apple CEO, $1.8 billion
- Kim Kardashian, reality TV star and entrepreneur, $1.8 billion
- Michael Jordan, retired NBA star, $1.7 billion
- Sheryl Sandberg, outgoing chief operating officer at Meta and former Google executive, $1.5 billion
- Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, $1.4 billion
- Jay-Z, rapper and entrepreneur, $1.3 billion
- Sara Blakely, Spanx founder, $1 billion
- Tyler Perry, actor and filmmaker, $1 billion
Therefore, when wondering how many billionaires are in the world, you might also consider each person’s net worth. While all incredible, $1 billion, $20 billion and $50 billion are vastly different fortunes.
How Many Trillionaires Are in the World?
Reaching trillionaire status is something even the richest people in the world have yet to achieve. This has everyone wondering: Who will be the first trillionaire? Only time will tell if Musk will win the race or if another billionaire will beat him to it.
Since the amount of billionaires has surged in the past 35 years, it seems likely that number will continue to increase. This might seem hard to believe, but in 1987 — when there were only 140 billionaires — people probably never would’ve imagined there would be 2,668 billionaires in 2022.
If the billionaire surge continues on its current path, there would be 19 times more people in this club in 35 years than there are today. This means more than 50,000 billionaires would be in existence by 2057.
While the idea of anyone reaching trillionaire status probably sounds unimaginable, it might seem a bit more in reach for someone like Musk, if so many other people are able to amass billion-dollar fortunes.
Only time will tell if this trend will continue or if the new billionaire uptick is only temporary. Keep a close watch over the next few years to see what happens.
Data was compiled on Sept. 2, 2022, and is subject to change. Information on net worths was sourced from Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires data.
Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.
- Forbes. 2022. "Real-Time Billionaires."
- Forbes. 2022. "World’s Billionaires List."
- Forbes. 2022. "The Countries With The Most Billionaires 2022."
- Bloomberg. 2022. "Asia’s Richest Man Buys Robotics Startup to Fuel Tech Ambitions."