How Many Billionaires Are in the World?

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For most people, it’s hard to imagine having a million dollars, let alone a billion. However, not only has the number of billionaires increased this year, but there has also been a few shake-ups amongst the lineup of the richest people in the world. Though the heaviest concentration of billionaires is in the United States, people who have amassed a billion-dollar fortune can be found throughout the world, and the numbers may shock you. 

How Many Billionaires Are There in the World in 2023?

The global tally of billionaires as of May 2023 was 2,640, according to Forbes. However, only 140 people were in the exclusive billion-dollar club back in 1987. Meaning that while achieving billionaire status is a very big deal, but it is not as difficult as it once was. Today, there are more than 19 times the amount of billionaires in the world than in 1987.

By far, most of the world’s billionaires are from the United States, however, there are several more across the globe. Here is an international breakdown of billionaires globally:

  • United States: 735 
  • China, including Hong Kong: 495
  • India: 169
  • Germany: 126
  • Russia: 105

The Richest Billionaires in the World

Now that you know how many billionaires are in the world, you’re probably wondering who is the wealthiest. While it’s easy to group them into the same super-elite category, some billionaires are a lot wealthier than others.

Of the 10 richest people on the planet, eight reside in the U.S. and the other two are in France. Some are self-made individuals, while others are grouped under a family empire.

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While the title of the richest person in the world went back and forth between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos for the last few years, this year shows Bernard Arnault and his family in the top spot. Here’s a look at ten of the richest billionaires in the world:

  1. Bernard Arnault and family
  2. Elon Musk
  3. Jeff Bezos
  4. Bill Gates 
  5. Warren Buffet 
  6. Larry Ellison
  7. Steve Ballmer
  8. Larry Page
  9. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
  10. Sergey Brim

1. Bernard Arnault and Family

  • Net worth: $206 billion
  • Location: France

Based in Paris, 74-year-old Bernard Arnault helms luxury goods company LVMH — its 70 luxury brands include Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Tiffany & Co. and Bulgari. His net worth skyrocketed from $72 billion in 2018 to $158 billion in 2022. His wealth grew once again to $206 billion in 2023, earning him the current top spot on the billionaires list.

2. Elon Musk

  • Net worth: $169 billion
  • Location: U.S.

Musk’s net worth has ebbed and flowed 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. He is the CEO of Tesla and owns 23% of Tesla shares, between stock and options. He also owns the rocket firm SpaceX and the social media platform Twitter.

3. Jeff Bezos

  • Net worth: $129 billion
  • Location: U.S.

Founding Amazon out of his Seattle garage in 1994 has made Jeff Bezos one of the richest people in the world. The 59-year-old resigned as the company’s CEO in July 2021 and now serves as its executive chairman.

4. Bill Gates

  • Net worth: $125 billion
  • Location: U.S.
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The 67-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.

5. Warren Buffett

  • Net worth: $113 billion
  • Location: U.S.

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 estimated at $84 billion.

6. Larry Ellison

  • Net worth: $109 billion
  • Location: U.S.

The 78-year-old co-founded the software company, Oracle. He continues to serve as its chairman and chief technology officer.

7. Steve Ballmer

  • Net worth: $108 billion
  • Location: U.S.

Former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer made billions through his successful company and investments. He also purchased the NBA team the Los Angeles Clippers when he retired from Microsoft in 2014.

8. Larry Page

  • Net worth: $97.5 billion
  • Location: U.S.

A co-founder of Alphabet — the parent company of Google — 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. He eventually stepped down from the role in December 2019.

9. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

  • Net worth: $93.3 billion
  • Location: France

Not only is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers one of the richest people in the world, but she also holds the title of the richest woman in the world. She is the granddaughter of the founder of L’Oreal and currently owns around 33% of L’Oreal stock. 

10. Sergey Brin

  • Net worth: $93.2 billion
  • Location: U.S.
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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.

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? Since the amount of billionaires has surged in the past 35 years, it seems likely that number will continue to increase. 

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 be a bit more in reach for someone like Arnault or Musk.

Final Take To GO 

Earning or inheriting billions of 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. Only time will tell if this trend will continue or if the new billionaire uptick is only temporary. 

FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the richest people in the world.
  • Which country has the most billionaires?
    • The U.S. is the country that currently has the most billionaires with an estimated 735 billionaires.
  • Is there a trillionaire in the world?
    • No, there is currently no individual with a net worth that reaches $1 trillion.
  • How rich is the world's richest 1%?
    • In 2023 there are 2,640 billionaires, and if you totaled their fortunes they would be worth around $12.2 trillion.
  • Who is really the richest person in the world?
    • The current richest person in the world is Bernard Arnault, though he shares this status with his family, and is worth an estimated $206 billion.
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Jennifer Taylor contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of May 8, 2023, and is subject to change.

The article above was refined via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of our editorial team.

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.

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