The richest man in the world 2021 edition has been crowned. In its annual Billionaire list, Forbes has crowned the top earners for the last 12 months and surprising, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos does not top the poll. LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault is the richest man in the world, suprassing Bezos and taking out the title. Even more surprising is just how much the world’s richest man has seen his net worth swell in 2021, a year marred with pandemics, infrastructure hold-ups and mass economic uncertainty. And he wasn’t alone.
The Business of Wealth
Amazingly, despite the challenges of 2020, the number of billionaires of Forbes‘ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest ‘exploded’ to an unprecedented 2,755, up 660 from last year. According to Forbes, the combined wealth of all the billionaires on the list amounts to a whopping USD$13.1 trillion, up from USD$8 trillion last year. That incredibly figure comes off the back of surging cryptocurrencies and stock prices along with a series of public offerings.
In fact, the report names 493 newcomers to the list, marking one new billionaire every 17 hours. Of the new entrants to make the billionaire mark, the wealthiest is Miriam Adelson of Nevada, who inherited her husband Sheldon Adelson’s casino empire following his death in January, swelling her net worth to USD$38.2 billion. On the lifestyle side, filmmaker Tyler Perry also made the list, along with Checkout.com founder Guillaume Pousaz and the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, Bumble co-founder Whitney Wold Herd.
Perhaps the most interesting statistics is how many billionaires are returning to the list. Around 250 people who’d fallen off the billionaires’ list in the past came roaring back with Forbes reporting that all together, a staggering 86 per cent of all billionaires are richer than a year ago. Not bad for the worst year ever.
World’s Richest People 2021
As mentioned, Bernard Anrault has claimed the title of the world’s richest man 2021, however, the stakes are tightening. For the first time, here are four people worth USD$100 billion or more.
Here is a list of the 10 richest people in the world for 2021.
1. Bernard Arnault
French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault has had a monster year. After LVMH noted a USD$417 billion market value thanks to a surge in share price, Arnault’s 47 per cent stake became the most important in the world. With a net worth of USD$196 billion, Arnault is firmly the richest man in the world. The luxury business, which is responsible for Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Hennessy, Sephora and Christian Dior reported a whopping 30 per cent surge in stock price year-to-date. With Amazon founder and perennial rich list winner Jeff Bezos’ wealth slipping, the French businessman is now the world’s richest man.
Net worth: USD$196 billion
Source of wealth: Luxury goods
Born: 5 March 1949 (age 72 years), Roubaix, France
Children: Antoine Arnault, Delphine Arnault, Alexandre Arnault, Frédéric Arnault, Jean Arnault
Spouse: Hélène Mercier (m. 1991), Anne Dewavrin (m. 1973–1990)
Siblings: Dominique Watine-Arnault
Education: École Polytechnique (1969–1971), Lycée Faidherbe
2. Jeff Bezos
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has become a familiar face at the top of Forbes’ wealthiest people in the world list, however, he was recently dethroned. A ost-earning slump saw Amazon shares fall by seven per cent in one day, resulting in a loss of USD$14 billion in 24 hours for Bezos. That being said, the entrepreneur has notched up three years as the world’s richest man and his personal wealth is now up to USD$186 billion, a jump of USD$73 billion from a year ago as a result of surging Amazon shares.
Net worth: USD$186 billion
Source of wealth: Amazon
Born: 12 January 1964 (age 57 years), Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Spouse: MacKenzie Scott (m. 1993–2019)
Parents: Ted Jorgensen, Miguel Bezos, Jacklyn Bezos
Education: Princeton University (1982–1986), Miami Palmetto Senior High School (1982), River Oaks Elementary School
3. Elon Musk
Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk was the biggest gainer in dollar terms this year, flying into the No. 3 spot. Musk is now worth a monster USD$160 billion, 0ver $130 billion more than a year ago, when he ranked No. 31 and was worth $24.6 billion, thanks to a 705 per cent climb in Tesla shares. At one point this year, he was actually the world’s richest man, however, fluctuating stock saw him slip comfortably into the second position.
Net worth: USD$160 billion
Source of wealth: Tesla, SpaceX
Net worth: 163.8 billion USD (2021) Forbes, Trending
Born: 28 June 1971 (age 49 years), Pretoria, South Africa
Citizenship: South Africa (1971–present); Canada (1971–present); United States (2002–present)
Partner: Grimes (2018–)
Children: X Æ A-Xii, Nevada Alexander Musk, Griffin Musk, Xavier Musk, Saxon Musk, Kai Musk, Damian Musk
4. Bill Gates
Former world’s richest man Bill Gates also had a solid year. The Microsoft co-founder ranks No. 4 at USD$124 billion, thanks to the strong share performance in Microsoft, Canadian National Railway and tractor maker Deere & Company.
Net worth: USD$124 billion
Source of wealth: Microsoft
Born: 28 October 1955 (age 65 years), Seattle, Washington, United States
Spouse: Melinda Gates (m. 1994)
Children: Jennifer Katharine Gates, Rory John Gates, Phoebe Adele Gates
5. Mark Zuckerberg
Rounding out the top five is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, at USD$97 billion. The tech entrepreneur may have come under fire in recent times, but that didn’t stop him from swelling his net worth by an eye-watering USD$42.3 billion. The massive jump comes in the wake of a big year for Facebook that saw the company’s shares rise 80 per cent as people around the world used its social media platforms to stay in touch.
Net worth: USD$97 billion
Source of wealth: Facebook
Born: 14 May 1984 (age 36 years), White Plains, New York, United States
Spouse: Priscilla Chan (m. 2012)
Children: Maxima Chan Zuckerberg, August Chan Zuckerberg
6. Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett may be the world’s sixth-richest person, worth USD$96 billion but 2021 marks the first year since 1993 that the revered investor running Berkshire Hathaway has not appeared in the top five. The stock expert and investment legend, better known as the Oracle of Omaha raised his net worth by USD$28.5 billion.
Net worth: USD$96 billion
Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway
Born: 30 August 1930 (age 90 years), Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Spouse: Astrid Menks (m. 2006), Susan Buffett (m. 1952–2004)
Children: Susan Alice Buffett, Peter Buffett, Howard Graham Buffett
7. Larry Ellison
American business magnate Larry Ellison also had a whopping year. The Oracle co-founder has major shares in Tesla, which surged enormously in 2021, giving him one of the biggest paydays in recent memory.
Net worth: USD$93 billion
Source of wealth: Software
Born: 17 August 1944 (age 76 years), The Bronx, New York, United States
Spouse: Melanie Craft (m. 2003–2010)
Children: Megan Ellison, David Ellison
Education: The University of Chicago (1964–1966)
Books: Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle
8. Larry Page
Google co-founder Larry Page was able to take his wealth to a new level in 2021. The American entrepreneur is now worth an estimated USD$91.5 billion, thanks to a surge in working from home and diversified products.
Net worth: USD$91.5 billion
Source of wealth: Google
Born: 26 March 1973 (age 48 years), Lansing, Michigan, United States
Spouse: Lucinda Southworth (m. 2007)
Education: East Lansing High School (1987–1991)
Parents: Gloria Page, Carl Victor Page
9. Sergey Brin
Similar to his Google co-founder, Sergey Brin also swelled his net worth massively in 2021. The tech guru is now worth an estimated USD$89 billion thanks to a seemingly endless run of success for the world’s most popular search engine.
Net worth: USD$89 billion
Source of wealth: Google
Born: 21 August 1973 (age 47 years), Moscow, Russia
Spouse: Nicole Shanahan (m. 2018), Anne Wojcicki (m. 2007–2015)
Children: Chloe Wojin, Benji Wojin
Education: Stanford University (1993–1995)
Parents: Michael Brin, Eugenia Brin
10. Mukesh Ambani
Rounding out the top 10 richest people in the world for 2021, is Mukesh Ambani of India. Now the richest person in Asia, Ambani has a net worth of an estimated USD$84.5 billion. The Reliance Industries Ltd shareholder has nudged out Jack Ma of China, Asia’s richest person a year ago, whose rank dropped to No. 26 thanks to a massive year.
Net worth: USD$84.5 billion
Source of wealth: Diversified
Born: 19 April 1957 (age 63 years), Aden, Yemen
Spouse: Nita Ambani (m. 1985)
Children: Isha Ambani, Akash Ambani, Anant Ambani
Education: Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT)
Siblings: Anil Ambani, Nina Kothari, Deepti Salgaocar
Who is the richest person in the world?
According to the latest projections from Forbes, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault is the richest person in the world, with a net worth of around USD$196 billion.
How much is Elon Musk worth?
While Elon Musk’s wealth is heavily dependent on stock price, the Tesla boss’ most recent net worth estimate is around USD$160 billion, as reported by Forbes.
Who is the richest woman in the world?
According to the latest reports from Forbes, Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton is the richest woman in the world. With a net worth of around USD$54.1 billion, Walton just beats out L'Oréal heiress and former world’s richest woman Francoise Bettencourt Meyers for the title.