TUESDAY, April 16, 2024

Forbes unveils 38th Annual World’s Billionaires List

Forbes unveils 38th Annual World’s Billionaires List

LVMH Tycoon Bernard Arnault remains atop the ranking of the world’s richest people as the planet sees a record number of billionaires, worth an all-time high of US$14.2 trillion

Forbes announced its 38th annual World’s Billionaires List, the definitive ranking of the world’s richest people. This year’s list features a record-breaking 2,781 billionaires, more billionaires than ever before, 141 more than last year and 26 more than the previous record set in 2021.

French luxury goods titan Bernard Arnault tops the World’s Billionaires ranking for the second year in a row, after his net worth grew by 10% to an estimated US$233 billion, thanks to another record year at his conglomerate, LVMH. Elon Musk remains in the second spot, with an estimated net worth of US$195 billion, up 8% from last year but noticeably lower than his net worth in November 2021, when he became the first person ever to be worth US$300 billion. The decline is largely due to a fall in the value of Tesla shares.

“It’s been an amazing year for the world’s richest people, with more billionaires around the world than ever before,” says Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes Senior Editor, Wealth. “A record-breaking 14 centibillionaires have 12-figure fortunes. Even during times of financial uncertainty for many, the super-rich continue to thrive.”

The world’s billionaires are richer than ever. Collectively, they are worth a record-breaking US$14.2 trillion, up by US$2 trillion from our 2023 list and US$1.1 trillion above the previous record, set in 2021. The top 20, in particular, had a great year, adding a combined US$700 billion in wealth over the past 12 months.

Key Highlights:

• Newcomers: This year’s ranking features 265 newcomers, including fashion designer Christian Louboutin (US$1.2 billion); NBA legend Magic Johnson (US$1.2 billion); TV producer Dick Wolf (US$1.2 billion); pop star Taylor Swift (US$1.1 billion), who has toured and recorded her way to billionaire status; and OpenAI’s Sam Altman (US$1 billion).

• Globally: The United States still has more billionaires than any other country, now boasting a record 813 on the list, worth a combined US$5.7 trillion. China remains second, with 473 (including Hong Kong) worth US$1.7 trillion. India, which has a record-breaking 200 billionaires worth US$954 billion, ranks third.

• The $100 Billion Club: A record 14 people worldwide now have 12-figure fortunes. This elite group is 255% richer than they were a decade ago, and is now worth $2 trillion in all, meaning just 0.5% of the world’s 2,781 billionaires hold 14% of all billionaire wealth.

• Drop-offs: 189 people fell off the list in 2024, including 129 from mainland China, where weak consumer spending and a real estate bust helped wipe out US$200 billion in wealth. An additional 32 billionaires died, including Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Margaritaville singer Jimmy Buffett.

To view the full list, visit www.forbes.com/billionaires

The 2024 Billionaires issue features a cover story on investor and sports magnate Todd Boehly. 

Feature stories included in the Billionaires package include:

Todd Boehly: Drawing from Warren Buffett’s longtime playbook, Boehly has used the cash generated from his boring – but dependable – annuities business to build an international multibillion-dollar sports and entertainment empire which includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chelsea FC and the Golden Globes.

• The $100 Billion Club: The number of people with dozen-digit fortunes is soaring.

Donald Trump: The former President’s legal woes have taken a half-billion-dollar bite out of his net worth. Meme stock traders might just bail him out. The 2024 Forbes Billionaires List reflects net worth calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of March 8, 2024. At the time the list was compiled, Donald Trump was worth US$2.3 billion. Forbes has since updated the press release to reflect his current net worth of US$5.7 billion as of Monday, April 1, 2024.