Forbes’ world’s billionaires list for 2021 includes a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires. Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person for the fourth year running, worth $177 billion, up $64 billion from a year ago as a result of surging Amazon shares.
Elon Musk rocketed into the No. 2 spot with a $151 billion fortune, a whopping $126.4 billion more than a year ago, when he ranked No. 31 and was worth $24.6 billion. The main reason: a 705% climb in Tesla shares, Forbes said.
The ranks of the ultra-wealthy are expanding after a year in which the coronavirus pandemic upended world economies and threatened the livelihoods of people across the globe.
This year’s billionaires are worth a combined $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion last year, Forbes said.
“The very, very rich got very, very richer,” said Forbes’ Chief Content Officer Randall Lane, in an interview with Reuters Video News.
Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg round out the top five of the world’s richest billionaires.
Investor and business tycoon Warren Buffett fell out of the top five for the first time in over two decades, as tech executives dominate the Forbes rankings.
This year’s list has 493 newcomers, including Whitney Wolfe Herd, chief executive of dating app Bumble, which went public this year.
(With inputs from Forbes, Reuters)