Here are the richest 10 people in the world.

Billionaires exert significant influence on the global economy, politics, and philanthropy. According to Forbes, the number of wealthiest individuals worldwide reached 2,640 in 2023. Topping the list is Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH.

Members of this exclusive group hold even greater sway and influence. Many are tech industry pioneers, with a substantial portion of their tied up in their original ventures.

Despite their vast fortunes, these billionaires can leverage their wealth without liquidating stocks, thereby deferring or eliminating taxes on unrealized capital gains, especially beneficial for their heirs. Moreover, they can utilize various tax deductions to offset reported income, resulting in some individuals on this list paying minimal to no income tax in recent years.

Given the bulk of their assets in publicly traded stocks, the net worth of the wealthiest individuals fluctuates with the market valuations of their companies. Below, we present the 10 wealthiest individuals globally, based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as of April 1, 2024.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Bernard Arnault, serving as chairman of LVMH, holds the title of the wealthiest individual globally, with an impressive net worth of $231 billion.
  • Following closely is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
  • Among other billionaires boasting significant net worths are Tesla's Elon Musk, Microsoft's Bill Gates, and Oracle's Larry Ellison.
  • Remarkably, eight out of the top 10 billionaires amassed their fortunes in the technology sector, with Bernard Arnault and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway being the notable exceptions.

1. Bernard Arnault

  • Age: 75
  • Residence: France
  • CEO and Chair: LVMH (LVMUY)
  • Net Worth: $231 billion
  • Moelis & Ownership Stake: 48% ($216 billion total)
  • Other Assets: $16 billion in cash5
  • French national Bernard Arnault is the chair and CEO of LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company. LVMH brands include Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora.6

The bulk of Arnault's riches stem from his substantial ownership in Christian Dior SE, the holding entity that commands a 41.4% stake in LVMH. Through his family-owned holding firm, Groupe Familial Arnault, he maintains ownership of shares in Christian Dior SE, along with an additional 6.2% stake in LVMH.

Bernard Arnault, wealthiest individuals
Christophe Morin /

Trained as an engineer, Arnault initially showcased his entrepreneurial flair while employed at his father's construction enterprise, Ferret-Savinel, assuming leadership of the firm in 1971. In 1979, he transformed Ferret-Savinel into a real estate entity named Férinel Inc.

Arnault continued to helm Férinel for an additional six years before venturing into the luxury goods realm. In 1984, he acquired and restructured Financière Agache, divesting all assets except Christian Dior and Le Bon Marché. Invited to invest in LVMH in 1987, Arnault swiftly rose to become its majority shareholder, chairman of the board, and CEO by 1989.

2. Jeff Bezos

  • Age: 60
  • Residence: United States
  • Founder and Executive Chair: Amazon (AMZN)
  • Net Worth: $203 billion
  • Amazon Ownership Stake: 9% ($169 billion)
  • Other Assets: Blue Origin ($15 billion private asset), The Washington Post ($250 million private asset), Koru ($500 million private asset), and $18.2 billion in cash9

In 1994, Jeff Bezos established Amazon.com in a garage located in Seattle, shortly after departing from the hedge fund powerhouse D.E. Shaw. Initially proposing the concept of an online bookstore to his former employer David E. Shaw, Bezos encountered disinterest.

While Amazon's inception centered around book sales, it has since evolved into a comprehensive marketplace offering a vast array of goods, poised to surpass Walmart as the globe's largest retailer by 2024. The company's strategy of continuous diversification is exemplified by unexpected expansions such as the acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 and venturing into the pharmacy sector the same year.

Bezos held a significant stake of up to 16% in Amazon by 2019, which he subsequently transferred 4% to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, as part of their divorce settlement. In 2020, Amazon experienced a remarkable 76% surge in its stock price fueled by the increased demand for online shopping amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 5, 2021, Bezos transitioned from his role as CEO of the e-commerce behemoth to its executive chair.

Jeff Bezos, wealthiest individuals
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Bezos initiated Amazon's public offering in 1997 and subsequently became the first individual since Bill Gates in 1999 to amass a net worth surpassing $100 billion. Apart from Amazon, Bezos is involved in various ventures including the aerospace firm Blue Origin, the acquisition of The Washington Post in 2013, and the development of the 10,000-year clock, also known as the Long Now project.

On July 20, 2021, Bezos, accompanied by his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Dutch student Oliver Daemen, completed Blue Origin's inaugural crewed flight, achieving an altitude exceeding 66 miles before safely landing. Bezos reached the pinnacle of his wealth at $213 billion during the same month.

In 2023, Bezos made headlines by purchasing the superyacht Koru for a staggering $500 million.

3. Elon Musk

  • Age: 52
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder and CEO: Tesla
  • Net Worth: $189 billion
  • Tesla Ownership Stake: 13% ($72.3 billion)
  • X Ownership Stake: 79% ($7.52 billion)
  • Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($71.2 billion private asset), The Boring Company ($3.33 billion private asset), Neuralink ($2.07 billion private asset)20

Elon Musk holds the title of the wealthiest individual globally. Born in South Africa, he pursued his education in Canada before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained bachelor's degrees in both physics and economics. Shortly after enrolling in a graduate physics program at Stanford University, Musk deferred his studies to launch Zip2, an early online navigation service, just two days later. With a portion of the profits from this venture, he founded X.com, an online payment system, which later transformed into PayPal Holdings after being acquired by eBay (EBAY).

In 2004, Musk became a significant investor in Tesla Motors, now known as Tesla, where he currently serves as CEO of the electric vehicle company. Beyond electric cars, Tesla manufactures energy storage solutions, automotive accessories, and, following its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems. Musk also holds the positions of CEO and chief engineer at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a company dedicated to developing space launch vehicles.

Tesla. “Elon Musk.”

Elon Musk, wealthiest individuals
Saul Martinez / Getty Images

In December 2020, Tesla made a significant move by joining the S&P 500, marking its status as the largest company added. By January 2021, Elon Musk ascended to the position of the world's wealthiest individual—a title that has fluctuated in tandem with Tesla's valuation.

In April 2022, Musk initiated a campaign to privatize X, resulting in a substantial $44 billion buyout. He intended to finance this endeavor with $21 billion of his personal funds. Leading up to the buyout announcement, Musk divested 9.6 million shares of Tesla, totaling approximately $8.5 billion.

However, by July 2022, Musk reversed his decision to pursue the buyout. This prompted the company to file a lawsuit against him to enforce the buyout. In response, Musk countersued, but later changed course and expressed his willingness to proceed with the buyout. The transaction was finalized in October 2022, granting Musk a commanding 79% stake in the company.

4. Mark Zuckerberg

  • Age: 39
  • Residence: United States
  • CEO and Chair: Meta Platforms (META)
  • Net Worth: $173 billion
  • Meta Platforms Ownership Stake: 13% ($168 billion total)
  • Other Assets: $4.90 billion in cash28

Mark Zuckerberg initiated the development of Facebook (now Meta) in collaboration with fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes in 2004. As Facebook gained traction beyond Harvard, Zuckerberg made the decision to leave the university and dedicate himself fully to the expansion of his burgeoning enterprise. Presently, Zuckerberg holds the positions of CEO and chairman at Meta, which boasted 3 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2023.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Chesnot / Getty Images

Meta, the leading social networking service globally, operates on a free-to-use model, primarily generating revenue through advertising.

Beyond its flagship platform, Meta encompasses various other brands. These include Instagram, a popular photo-sharing app acquired in 2012, WhatsApp, a cross-platform mobile messaging service, and Oculus, a virtual reality headset producer, both acquired in 2014. Additionally, Meta offers Workplace, an enterprise-connectivity platform, and Portal, a line of video-calling devices.

In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, co-founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Both serve as co-CEOs of this philanthropic endeavor, which aims to utilize technology for societal advancement. The initiative focuses on addressing issues such as enhancing education access and quality, reforming criminal justice and immigration systems, improving housing affordability, and ultimately striving for disease eradication.

5. Bill Gates

  • Age: 68
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder: Microsoft (MSFT)
  • Net Worth: $154 billion
  • Microsoft Ownership Stake: 1.4% ($27.2 billion)
  • Other Assets: $73.5 billion in cash and billions over multiple other companies36

While enrolled at Harvard University in 1975, Bill Gates collaborated with his childhood friend Paul Allen to pioneer new software for early microcomputers. Their project proved successful, prompting Gates to abandon his studies at Harvard during his junior year to co-found Microsoft with Allen. As the world's leading software company, Microsoft not only develops a range of personal computers but also offers email services through its exchange server, markets video game systems, and is heavily invested in cloud services. In 2008, Gates transitioned from his role as CEO to that of board chair at Microsoft. Additionally, he became a board member of Berkshire Hathaway in 2004 but resigned from both boards on March 13, 2020. Gates primarily holds his considerable net worth in Cascade Investment LLC, a privately-held entity with diverse investments including stocks such as Canadian National Railway (CNR), Deere (DE), and Republic Services (RSG), as well as private stakes in real estate and energy ventures.

Bill Gates
Jack Taylor / Getty Images

6. Steve Ballmer

  • Age: 68
  • Residence: United States
  • Owner: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Net Worth: $145 billion
  • Microsoft Ownership Stake: 4% ($134 billion total)
  • Other Assets: Los Angeles Clippers ($4.56 billion private asset), The Forum ($400 million private asset), Intuit Dome ($2 billion private asset), $4.18 billion in cash46
Steve Ballmer
Steven Ferdman / Getty Images.

Steve Ballmer became part of Microsoft in 1980, persuaded by Bill Gates to abandon his MBA program at Stanford University. Initially, he was the company's 30th employee. By 2000, Ballmer assumed the role of Microsoft CEO, succeeding Gates, and held this position until 2014. During his tenure, he orchestrated Microsoft's acquisition of Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion.

With an approximate 4% ownership stake, Ballmer stands as Microsoft's largest individual shareholder. Following his departure as CEO, he ventured into sports ownership, purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for $2 billion in 2014.

During their time at Harvard University, Ballmer and Gates resided in the same dormitory and on the same floor. However, tensions arose between them when Ballmer advocated for Microsoft's expansion into hardware, including ventures like the Surface tablet and Windows mobile phone, a move that strained their once-close relationship.

7. Warren Buffett

  • Age: 93
  • Residence: United States
  • CEO: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)
  • Net Worth: $137 billion
  • Berkshire Hathaway Ownership Stake: 15% ($134 billion)48
  • Other Assets: $1.45 billion in cash49

Warren Buffett, widely recognized as the foremost living value investor, initiated his tax journey in 1944 at the young age of 14 by filing his first tax return, citing earnings from his childhood paper route. His foray into investing began in 1962 when he acquired shares in a textile company known as Berkshire Hathaway, gradually assuming majority ownership by 1965. Over time, Buffett diversified the company's portfolio into insurance and other ventures by 1967.

Warren Buffett
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Earned the moniker “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett is renowned for his strategy of acquiring undervalued companies and holding onto them for the long term. In recent years, Berkshire Hathaway's investments have expanded to encompass prominent, established firms. The company's roster of wholly owned subsidiaries spans various sectors, including insurance, energy distribution, railroads, and consumer goods.

Despite his stature in the financial world, Buffett remains skeptical of Bitcoin. Alongside his investment activities, Buffett has demonstrated a profound commitment to philanthropy, channeling a significant portion of his wealth towards charitable causes. Between 2006 and 2020, he donated a staggering $41 billion, with major beneficiaries being the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and charitable organizations founded by his children. In 2010, Buffett, along with Bill Gates, initiated the Giving Pledge, urging fellow billionaires to commit to donating a significant portion of their wealth to philanthropic endeavors.

At the age of 93, Buffett continues to serve as CEO, but he indicated in 2021 that Gregory Abel, overseeing Berkshire's non-insurance operations, is likely to succeed him in leadership roles.

8. Larry Ellison

  • Age: 79
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder, Chair, and CTO: Oracle (ORCL)
  • Net Worth: $139 billion
  • Oracle Ownership Stake: 42%+ ($105 billion)
  • Other Assets: Tesla equity ($7.91 billion public asset), $25 billion in cash58

Born in New York City to a young single mother, Larry Ellison embarked on a remarkable journey that would establish him as a titan in the tech industry. Leaving the University of Chicago in 1966, Ellison made his way to California, where he initially worked as a computer programmer. His path intersected with Ed Oates and Bob Miner at Ampex in 1973, laying the foundation for future collaborations. Later, Ellison assumed the role of vice president of research and development at Precision Instruments in 1976.

In 1977, Ellison, alongside Oates and Miner, founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL). This venture birthed Oracle in 1979, marking a significant milestone as the first commercial relational database program utilizing Structured Query Language (SQL). The overwhelming success of Oracle prompted SDL to rename itself Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982. Ellison led Oracle as CEO for 37 years until relinquishing the position in 2014. His board tenure at Tesla commenced in December 2018 and concluded in June 2022.

Larry Ellison speaking at a conference.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Oracle stands as the world's second-largest software company, renowned for its comprehensive suite of cloud computing solutions, Java, Linux code, and the Oracle Exadata computing platform. Throughout its history, Oracle has executed notable acquisitions, including Microsystems and Cerner.

Ellison's philanthropic endeavors have centered on medical research, exemplified by his $200 million donation to the University of Southern California in 2016 for a state-of-the-art cancer research center. Additionally, Ellison backed the Oracle Team USA sailing team, achieving victory in the America's Cup racing series in both 2010 and 2013.

9. Larry Page

  • Age: 51
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder and Board Member: Alphabet (GOOG)
  • Net Worth: $137 billion
  • Alphabet Ownership Stake: 6% ($118.1 billion total)
  • Other Assets: $18.5 billion in cash66
Larry Page
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Similar to many other tech billionaires on this list, Larry Page kickstarted his journey to success while residing in a college dorm room. During his time at Stanford University in 1995, Page, along with his friend Sergey Brin, conceived the notion of enhancing Internet data extraction. This brainstorming session led to the creation of a groundbreaking search engine technology named Backrub, owing to its unique ability to evaluate page links.

Building upon their innovative , Page and Brin established Google in 1998, with Page assuming the role of CEO intermittently from 2001 to 2019. Google swiftly rose to prominence as the foremost Internet search engine, commanding over 92% of global search requests. The company's expansion continued with the acquisition of in 2006, solidifying its position as the premier platform for user-generated content.

Expanding its reach beyond search, Google acquired Android in 2005, subsequently launching the Android mobile operating system in 2008. A significant restructuring occurred in 2015, as Google rebranded itself as a subsidiary of Alphabet, a holding conglomerate.

Page's ventures extend beyond Google, as he demonstrated keen interest by investing in Planetary Resources, a pioneering space exploration and asteroid-mining venture. However, financial hurdles led to its acquisition by ConsenSys, a blockchain firm, in 2018. Furthermore, Page delved into the realm of futuristic transportation, backing companies like Kitty Hawk and Opener, although Kitty Hawk ceased operations in 2022.

10. Sergey Brin

  • Age: 50
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder and Board Member: Alphabet (GOOG)
  • Net Worth: $130 billion
  • Alphabet Ownership Stake: 6% ($111.2 billion total)
  • Other Assets: $18.6 billion in cash77

Sergey Brin was born in Moscow, Russia, and immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of six in 1979. In 1998, he co-founded Google alongside Larry Page, where he served as the President of Technology. When Eric Schmidt assumed the role of CEO in 2001, Brin continued in this position. He maintained this role within Alphabet, Google's parent company established in 2015, until 2019 when Sundar Pichai became CEO.

Sergey Brin attends the 2019 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center
Getty Images, Kelly Sullivan / Stringer.

Beyond its renowned search engine, Google offers a comprehensive suite of online tools and services collectively known as Google Workspace. This suite encompasses Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, among others. Additionally, Google produces various electronic devices, such as Pixel smartphones, computers, tablets, Nest smart home devices, and the Stadia gaming platform.

Brin has been actively involved in philanthropy, contributing millions of dollars towards Parkinson's disease research, often collaborating with The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Who Are the Top 10 Wealthiest Individuals in the World?

The top 10 richest people in the world as of April 1, 2024, are:

  1. Bernard Arnault
  2. Jeff Bezos
  3. Elon Musk
  4. Mark Zuckerberg
  5. Bill Gates
  6. Steve Ballmer
  7. Warren Buffett
  8. Larry Ellison
  9. Larry Page
  10. Sergey Brin2

Who Is the World's Wealthiest Individual in 2024?

As of April 1, 2024, the world's richest is Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH.2

Who Is the Richest Woman in the World?

The richest in the world is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. As of April 1, 2024, her net worth is $95.6 billion. Her net worth is derived from her holdings in L'Oréal, the world's largest cosmetics company.281

The Bottom Line

If you want to get a little closer to making the richest billionaires rankings, you might need to become a technological innovator or luxury retail mastermind. Or you could keep it simple and focus on value investing.

It also wouldn't hurt to have been born into wealth; however, the greatest fortunes on this list started as good ideas that people with creativity, drive, and connections used to build some of the world's largest companies.

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