The 20 Wealthiest Billionaires in the World

Gone are the days where businessmen and women would celebrate a million dollar deal; it's all about the billionaire race now.

There are currently 2,755 billionaires in the world, ranging from tech moguls to retail barons, but you need way more than a billion dollars to make it into the top half of the list.

The ranking of the world's richest people is ever-changing, but as of August 2021, here are the 20 wealthiest billionaires in the world, as per Forbes.

1. Bernard Arnault and family ($197.5bn)

Bernard Arnault at LVMH press conference
French luxury group LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault presents the group's annual results for 2018 at the LVMH headquarters in Paris, on January 29, 2019. Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

The fight at the top to be the world's wealthiest billionaire is ongoing, but for now, Bernard Arnault and his family take the crown.

Arnault is the chairman and chief executive of the world's largest luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE. He and his family are worth a staggering $197.5 billion.

Brands under the company include Christian Dior, Givenchy, Fenty, Bulgari and Princess Yachts, while Arnault also holds a stake in the world's second-largest food distributor Carrefour.

2. Jeff Bezos ($192.8bn)

Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post, participates in an event hosted by the Air Force Association September 19, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. Bezos talked about innovating in large organizations as well as staying on the cutting edge in the space industry. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Often number one on the list, depending on how Amazon is doing on the stock market, Jeff Bezos is currently in second place with his $192.8 billion fortune.

He first founded Amazon as an online bookstore in 1994, but it has grown to be the world's largest online sales company, as well as moving into video streaming and artificial intelligence. Bezos has stepped down as CEO and is now executive chairman.

As well as Amazon, Bezos owns The Washington Post and sub-orbital spaceflight services company Blue Origin, and recently completed a sub-orbital flight himself.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bezos's wealth is estimated to have grown by $24 billion.

3. Elon Musk ($185.9bn)

Elon Musk giving thumbs up
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer Award 2020 on December 01, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

A man with quite the CV, Elon Musk is the the founder, CEO and Chief Engineer at SpaceX; CEO, and Product Architect of Tesla; founder of The Boring Company and cofounder of Neuralink and OpenAI, while he is often credited with cofounding, which eventually became PayPal and was sold to eBay.

As well as being a centibillionaire, Musk is known for his controversial tweets and public appearances, including an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast where he smoked weed and caused Tesla stocks to plummet.

Musk is in a relationship with musician Grimes, with whom he shares a son named X Æ A-Xii.

4. Bill Gates ($132bn)

Bill Gates speaks at Economic Club
Microsoft principle founder Bill Gates participates in a discussion during a luncheon of the Economic Club of Washington June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Gates discussed various topics including climate change. Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates is one of the most recognisable faces of the technology revolution and between 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world every year except from 2010 to 2013.

Gates left day to day operations at Microsoft in 2008 to focus more on philanthropic efforts around global health, climate change and education, including his and his ex-wife's charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

5. Mark Zuckerberg ($130.4bn)

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook press conference
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a press conference in Paris on May 23, 2018. Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg is probably to blame for you wasting so much time online in the 2010s.

Zuckberg is the cofounder, chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder of Facebook, with the social networking site's success leading to his billionaire status.

Dropping out of Harvard to develop the site, Facebook has grown to have an estimated 2.89 billion monthly active users.

6. Larry Ellison ($116.7bn)

Larry Ellison at Oracle conference
Oracle Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, Larry Ellison, delivers a keynote address during the 2014 Oracle Open World conference on September 28, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Ellison kicked off the week-long Oracle Open World conference that runs through October 2. Kimberly White/Getty Images

Businessman Larry Ellison is the co-founder, executive chairman, chief technology officer (CTO) and former CEO of the second largest software company in the world, Oracle Corporation.

As well as this, he owns shares in Elon Musk's company Tesla, and even owns the Hawaiian island of Lana'i.

7. Larry Page ($116.6bn)

Larry Page at Google event
Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page speaks during a news conference at the Google offices on May 21, 2012 in New York City. Google announced today that it will allocate 22,000 square feet of space in its New York headquarters to CornellNYC Tech while the university completes its new campus on Roosevelt Island. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The second Larry on the billionaire list, Page is best known as the co-founder of search engine Google.

Page is currently an Alphabet board member, employee, and controlling shareholder, after previously holding the positions of CEO of Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, and CEO of Google.

He is also an investor in Tesla motors, founded the think tank Singularity University, and is interested in renewable energy.

8. Sergey Brin ($112.8bn)

Sergey Brin at Google event
Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin looks on during a question and answer session following the launch of the new Google Instant during a special launch event September 8, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Google announced the launch of Google Instant, a faster version of Google search that streams results live as you type your query. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Worth slightly less than Page but still very, very rich, Sergey Brin is the other cofounder of Google.

Brin was president of Alphabet Inc until 2019, and remains at the company as a co-founder, board member and controlling shareholder.

He has been involved in Google's Project Glass program and its driverless car project, and is also interested in blockchain technology.

9. Warren Buffett ($104.4bn)

Warren Buffett at Forbes awards dinner
Warren Buffett speaks at the Forbes' 2015 Philanthropy Summit Awards Dinner on June 3, 2015 in New York City. Monica Schipper/WireImage

Considered one of the world's most successful investors, Warren Buffet is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway—a multinational conglomerate holding company which wholly owns companies including GEICO, Duracell, Dairy Queen, BNSF, Lubrizol, Fruit of the Loom and Helzberg Diamonds.

Berkshire Hathaway also has minority holdings in Kraft Heinz Company, American Express, The Coca-Cola Company, Bank of America and Apple.

Noted for his philanthropy, Buffett has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes.

10. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and family ($92.4bn)

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
President of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers presents the 20th Liliane Bettencourt Prize For "L'Intelligence de ma Main" at Salle Wagram on October 03, 2019 in Paris, France. Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images for Fondation Bettencourt-Schueller

Rounding out the top 10 is Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the richest woman in the world, who, along with her family, lays claim to a fortune of over $92 billion.

Following her mother Liliane's death in 2017, Bettencourt Meyers took over her mother's title as world's richest woman, thanks to her 33 percent stake in L'Oréal.

Bettencourt Meyers' grandfather Eugène Paul Louis Schueller was the founder of the company.

11. Steve Ballmer ($84.5bn)

Steve Ballmer at Microsoft press conference
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a press conference at the CeBIT technology fair a day before the fair's official opening on March 3, 2008 in Hanover, Germany. CeBIT, the world's largest technology trade fair, will run from March 4-9. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

First being hired by Bill Gates at Microsoft in 1980, Steve Ballmer went on to become president of the company and replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, a position he served for 14 years.

He is also the current owner of the NBA team, the Los Angeles Clippers, and also previously served as the director of Accenture.

12. Mukesh Ambani ($79.3bn)

Mukesh Ambani at book launch
Mukesh Ambani attends the Nana Chudasama's Book launch 'History on Banner' on June 17, 2010 in Mumbai, India. Prodip Guha/Getty Images

Mukesh Ambani is Asia's wealthiest person thanks to his positions as chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd., which is India's most valuable company by market value.

The multinational conglomerate deals in everything from energy, petrochemicals and natural gas, to retail, telecommunications and mass media.

Ambani is also the owner of the cricket team Mumbai Indians.

He and his family famously live in a $1.2bn 27-storey home called Antillia, which is the world's most valuable private residence and features three helipads, a 160-car garage, private movie theater, swimming pool, and a snow room that spits out snowflakes from the walls to keep the Ambanis cool.

13. Amancio Ortega ($78.1bn)

Amancio Ortega
Portrait of Amancio Ortega, Inditex Group president. Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images

Spanish businessman Armancio Ortega is the second wealthiest European on the list and back in 2015, he briefly overtook Bill Gates as richest man in the world.

Ortega is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, which owns the retail chain Zara.

He owns a vast real estate portfolio through his investment company Pontegadea, including the Torre Picasso skyscraper in Madrid and Manhattan's Haughwout Building, but maintains a low profile and lives in an apartment with his wife in Spain.

14. Carlos Slim Helu and family ($72.7bn)

Carlos Slim Helu waving
Carlos Slim Helu president of Grupo Carso during a meeting with representatives of the engineering organizations Mexican Union of Engineer Associations, Engineering Academy of Mexico and College of Civil Engineers of Mexico at Palacio de Mineria on August 6, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. Carlos Tischler/Getty Images

Previously the richest person in the world, Mexican businessman Slim is Latin America's richest man, thanks to his conglomerate Grupo Carso.

Through Grupa Carso and its divisions, Slim owns Telmex, Telcel and América Móvil, and is also the largest single shareholder of the New York Times Company.

Slim has acquired stakes in companies as wide-ranging as Barnes & Noble, Telekom Austria and Mobli, and also owns stakes in two Mexican soccer teams.

15. Zhong Shanshan ($72.1bn)

Zhong Shanshan speaking at press conference
This photo taken on May 6, 2013 shows Zhong Shanshan, chairman of Nongfu Spring mineral water and a separate pharma company, gesturing during a speech at a press conference in Beijing STR/CNS/AFP via Getty Images.

Chinese businessman Shanshan started the Nongfu Spring beverage company with a unique selling point: they would not remove the natural minerals from their water.

Nongfu went on to become the biggest bottle water brand in China and one of the world's largest beverage companies, and Shanshan's wealth rocketed when Nongfu went public last year.

He is also the majority owner of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise.

16. Jim Walton ($66.2bn)

Jim Walton at Walmart shareholders meeting
Jim Walton claps at the Walmart shareholders meeting event on June 1, 2018 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The shareholders week brings thousands of shareholders and associates from around the world to meet at the company's global headquarters. (Photo by Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images) Rick T Wilking/Getty Images

Three members of the Walton family take up spaces on the top 20, and it's not hard to understand why.

Jim Walton, the youngest son of Sam Walton, is the current heir to Walmart, the world's largest retailer.

He is also the chairman of the family-owned Arvest Bank, and chairman of newspaper firm Community Publishers Inc.

17. Alice Walton ($65.8bn)

Alice Walton at Walmart shareholders meeting
Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, waits onstage during the annual Walmart shareholders meeting event on June 1, 2018 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The shareholders week brings thousands of shareholders and associates from around the world to meet at the company's global headquarters. Rick T Wilking/Getty Images

Alice Walton, Jim's sister, is the world's second richest woman, due to her status as Walmart heiress.

Having previously worked as a broker and founded her own investment bank, Walton is known for her love of art collecting, and founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

18. Rob Walton ($65.3bn)

Rob Walton at Walmart shareholders meeting
Rob Walton speaks during the annual Walmart shareholders meeting event on June 1, 2018 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The shareholders week brings thousands of shareholders and associates from around the world to meet at the company's global headquarters. Rick T Wilking/Getty Images

Helen and Sam Walton's eldest son, Rob, is the last Walton sibling to make it into the top 20.

After receiving his law degree from Columbia Law School, Walton went on to represent the family business, and acted as Walmart chairman from 1992 until 2015.

19. Phil Knight and family ($62bn)

Phil Knight at Allen & co conference
Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11, 2019 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Every July, some of the world's most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, and technology spheres converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive weeklong conference. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Phil Knight is the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc., and was previously chairman and CEO of the company.

He is also the owner of the stop motion film production company Laika.

Knight is known for his philanthropy and particularly his donations to the athletics department at his alma mater, the University of Oregon, having donated $100million to found the UO Athletics Legacy Fund to help support all athletic programs at the university, and later donating $500m for a new campus dedicated to science.

20. Michael Bloomberg ($59bn)

Michael Bloomberg on presidential campaign
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg delivers remarks during a campaign rally on February 12, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. Bloomberg is holding the rally to mark the beginning of early voting in Tennessee ahead of the Super Tuesday primary on March 3rd. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

One of the more visible billionaires on the list, Michael Bloomberg made his fortune as the majority owner and co-founder of financial, software, data and media company Bloomberg L.P.

He is probably best known for serving as the Mayor of New York City between 2002 to 2013, and was a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

His self-funded campaign set the record for the most expensive US. presidential primary campaign, costing Bloomberg an estimated $935 million, but he ended his campaign in March 2020 after winning just 61 delegates.

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