Forbes releases its longest list of wealthiest people in the world, with 2,755 billionaires

Forbes has revealed its list of the world’s wealthiest – and it’s the biggest group in the annual list’s 35 years. During a pandemic year that saw “rapid-fire public offerings, surging cryptocurrencies and skyrocketing stock prices,” a staggering 86 percent of the world’s wealthiest people are richer than they were a year ago, Forbes says.

The list includes 2,755 billionaires – 660 more than last year, including 493 people who are new to the list. The No. 1 spot went to Jeff Bezos, whom Forbes says has a net worth of $177 billion, making him the world’s richest for the fourth year running.

Following the Amazon founder is SpaceX and Tesla’s Elon Musk, who has a net worth of $151 billion,

The third spot belongs to Bernard Arnault and his family, who have a net worth of $150 billion. Arnault oversees France-based fashion empire LVMH, which includes brands like Louis Vuitton and Sephora. 

Eight of the top 10 billionaires are from the U.S. – including Microsoft’s Bill Gates (No. 4), Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (No. 5), Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet (6), Oracle’s Larry Ellison (7), and Google’s Larry Page (8) and Sergey Brin (9).

The tenth spot goes to Mukesh Ambani, who runs India’s Reliance Industries, which has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom and retail. Ambani has a net worth of $84.5 billion.

The richest woman on the list is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & family, who came in at #12. Bettencourt Meyers is the granddaughter of the founder of L’Oreal and as the richest woman in the world has a worth of $73.6 billion.

Other women on the list include Walmart’s Alice Walton (17) and Mars’ Jacqueline Mars (48), whose sisters Marijke, Pamela, Valerie and Victoria Mars also partly own the family’s pet food and candy companies and share the 316th spot. 

The youngest billionaire is 18-year-old Kevin David Lehmann, who is 925th on the list. He has a worth of $3.3 billion and owns 50% of Germany’s leading drugstore chain, dm (drogerie markt).

Some famous faces also made the list: Kanye West came in at 1,750 on the list. The entrepreneur and musician has net worth of $1.8 billion, according to Forbes. 

His soon-to-be-ex-wife, Kim Kardashian West, is 2,674 on the list. The reality TV star whose gaming, cometic and shapewear companies have earned her more than $1 billion is new to the list, as are identical twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who were Mark Zuckerberg’s supposed rivals at Harvard and are portrayed in the movie “The Social Network.” 

The twins have a net worth of $3 billion, earned from founding the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini. Several other cryptocurrency traders also made the billionaires list.

MacKenzie Scott, who divorced Jeff Bezos in 2019, is the third richest woman on the list, with a net worth of $53 billion – which she earned from Amazon. Forbes said she gave away $5.8 billion in grants to 500 nonprofit organizations across the U.S. during the pandemic. Her philanthropy supports racial equity, LGBT rights and public health organizations. 

Forbes also included features on some of the billionaires, industries and the cities in which they live. Beijing recorded a net gain of 33 new billionaires this year, making it home to 100 billionaires – more than any other city. 

Forbes says a quarter of world’s billionaires live in 10 cities and more the 10% live in Chinese cities. However, the U.S. still has the most, with 724 billionaires. 

Among the record-setting 493 new billionaires who made the list this year, at least 40 got rich from companies involved in fighting COVID-19, like Moderna’s Stéphane Bancel and BioNTech’s Uğur Şahin. Aside from these vaccine developers, others made money manufacturing personal protective equipment and COVID-19 tests, as well as developing software that helps authorities schedule vaccination campaigns, according to Forbes. 

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