Who are the richest people in the world? The answer is a bit complicated, but we’ll simplify it for you here. There are many different ways to define “richest.” You can look at net worth, which Forbes does with its annual billionaires list. Or, you could examine how much each person’s wealth has grown over time (called “realized”) – this is what Bloomberg does with its Billionaire Index. But whatever metric you use to measure wealth, one thing is certain: there are a lot of rich people out there!
The list of the 10 richest people in the world is a reflection of our moment. In this past year alone, three newcomers made their debut on the Forbes Billionaires list thanks to their work in technology and e-commerce: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (No. 6), Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (No. 8) and Airbnb cofounder Nathan Blecharczyk (No. 11). Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been on top for 24 years straight now—and his net worth is more than double that of No. 2 Jeff Bezos’. He’s one of only two people who have appeared on all 32 lists since 1993 when Forbes started tracking billionaires’ fortunes annually. They have all made it to their levels through savvy business decisions, but only one was born into wealth. There are a lot of interesting things to learn from this list, but the biggest takeaway is that most of the people who made it onto it are self-made. These are people who have worked hard and had some good luck along the way, but for the most part they’ve gotten where they are by their own work. Of course, one notable exception is Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were both born into wealth—but even then, their parents made sure that they would have an opportunity to get an education at Stanford University (which both attended) rather than just being handed everything in life on a silver platter. Their parents also invested in Google early on when it was still just two PhD candidates with an idea for a search engine (and no money).
The richest people can be found in many different industries, from tech to retail. While some are billionaires because of their tech companies, others inherited a company and helped make it great on their own. In order to be considered for this list of billionaires, you must have a net worth of $8.8 billion or more at the time of publication (March 2019). The list is based off data available for each individual’s net worth as well as their ranking on Forbes’ “World Billionaire” list. These are just 7 examples out of over 2,000 people who made this year’s Forbes billionaire list; there are plenty more where they came from!
The Forbes World’s Billionaires List is an annual list compiled and published by Forbes magazine that ranks the world’s wealthiest individuals by net worth. The Forbes World’s Billionaires List is an annual list compiled and published by Forbes magazine that ranks the world’s wealthiest individuals by net worth. The list was first published in March 1987, with an estimated wealth of US$500 billion for Mukesh Ambani. The current list includes 2,208 people with a combined net worth of $8.7 trillion, which amounts to more than one-eighth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States (US).