Global Billionaires: A Look at the Top 15 Wealthiest Businessmen and Their Changing Fortunes
The world’s billionaire landscape continues to experience fluctuations in numbers and fortunes. With a decrease in the overall count of billionaires for the second consecutive year and a decline in their collective wealth, this year’s Forbes list unveils both success stories and setbacks. While some billionaires face financial challenges, others have witnessed significant gains. Additionally, the presence of women on the list has increased, reflecting a growing representation of female wealth. The ever-evolving billionaire ecosystem highlights the dynamic nature of wealth creation and underscores the triumphs and tribulations of these influential individuals.
Global Billionaires: Shifting Fortunes and Fascinating Stories of the World’s Wealthiest Individuals
In today’s world, there are 2,640 billionaires with an estimated combined wealth of $12.2 trillion. Here are the key facts about this year’s participants in the American Forbes list and the top 15 wealthiest individuals. For some members from last year’s list, the party has come to an end. The number of billionaires worldwide has been decreasing for the second consecutive year, along with a decline in their overall wealth. The 2022 list featured 2,668 participants, but this year it has shrunk to 2,640, with their collective capital falling by $500 billion to $12.2 trillion due to global market challenges.
Almost half of the billionaires have become poorer compared to the previous year. Among the 254 individuals who lost their billionaire status, notable stories include the notorious prodigy Sam Bankman-Fried and musician Kanye West. Additionally, at least 19 founders of unicorn tech companies, including Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer from the NFT marketplace OpenSea, as well as Enrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi from fintech firm Brex, have joined the unfortunate ranks.
However, there were those who enjoyed tremendous success in the past 12 months. Among the lucky ones are Spanish retailer Amancio Ortega (+$17.7 billion), Chinese e-commerce king Colin Zheng Huang (+$18.9 billion), and Indonesian coal baron Low Tuck Kwong (+$21.8 billion).
Notably, 150 newcomers have nothing to complain about, including basketball legend LeBron James ($1 billion), golf star Tiger Woods ($1.1 billion), and fashion icon Tom Ford ($2.2 billion).
The average age of the list’s participants is 65, with the oldest billionaire this year being 101-year-old insurance magnate George Joseph ($1.3 billion). However, youth is also represented among the world’s wealthiest, with 15 participants aged 30 or younger. The United States takes the lead in the number of billionaire citizens, with 735 Americans whose wealth is estimated at $4.5 trillion. China (including Hong Kong and Macau) holds the second position with 562 billionaires, followed by India (169), Germany (126), and Russia (105).
The majority of the world’s wealthiest individuals are men. This year’s list features 337 women (13% of all participants), a 12% increase compared to the previous ranking. The richest woman in the world remains French heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers ($80.5 billion), the granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder. Out of the 96 female billionaires, many owe their wealth to their own diligent work, with Rafaela Aponte-Díazmant ($31.2 billion), a Swiss entrepreneur who co-founded the transportation giant MSC with her husband in 1970, ranking as the richest among them. Overall, 69% of this year’s billionaire list consists of self-made individuals or those who formed partnerships, rather than inheriting their wealth. Last year, this figure stood at 71%.
During the past 12 months, 33 billionaires have passed away, including Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, Brazilian banking heiress Lily Safra, and real estate magnate Ted Lerner. (This group does not include Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who passed away after Forbes completed its work on this year’s ranking, hence the late billionaire still being featured.)