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If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re looking for the latest statistics on billionaires. And there’s a good chance you’re feeling frustrated.
You’ve probably spent hours searching for the perfect data set, only to find that it’s either outdated or incomplete. Or maybe you’ve had to sort through a bunch of pointless information about the top 100 billionaires in order to find the ones who matter most to your industry.
But we’ve got good news! We’ve compiled a list of billionaire statistics that will give you everything you need—no more time wasted scrolling through search results or sifting through useless information.
We promise: one look at this list, and all of your money problems will be solved forever (or until the next time someone asks us for another list).
Billionaire Statistics – Editor’s Choice
Becoming a billionaire is the dream of millions of people. Yet, it becomes a reality only to a small percentage of the world population. Below, we handpicked the most impressive billionaire statistics just for you.
- There are 2,668 billionaires in the world.
- The odds of becoming a billionaire are 1 in 578,508.
- Americans, whites, and men have greater odds of becoming billionaires.
- Most women billionaires inherited their wealth.
- Higher education doesn’t guarantee a pass in the billionaire’s club.
- Elon Musk is the wealthiest person on the planet, with $219 billion.
- 19-year-old Kevin D. Lehmann is the youngest billionaire in the world, with $2.4 billion.
- The average time to become a billionaire is twenty years.
- People working in the mining and tech industries become billionaires the fastest.
If these intrigued you, we have many more interesting statistics and trends on billionaires in the article below. So, scroll down and get inspired!
Must-Know Billionaire Statistics
1. There are 2,668 billionaires in the world.
Billionaires are the wealthiest people in the world.
Per 2020 statistics, there were 2,095 billionaires globally. Their shared net worth was $8 trillion. By the end of 2021, their number increased by 600. Their shared net worth increased by $5 trillion.
In 2022, at the time of this writing, 493 individuals became billionaires, i.e., someone became a billionaire every 17 hours.
|Year||Number of Billionaires||Collective Worth|
2. The odds of becoming a billionaire are pretty terrible.
The chance of becoming a billionaire is approximately 1 in 578,508 (0.0001728584566%)
Americans have a greater possibility of becoming billionaires than people from elsewhere. Namely, there are around 500 billionaires in America.
In terms of race, there are more white billionaires than non-whites. Only 11 of the 2,043 billionaires are black people.
In terms of education, the situation is slightly surprising. Higher education isn’t necessarily linked with bigger wealth. In fact, 63 of the 400 billionaires by Forbes only have a high school diploma.
By contrast, the odds of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 15,300. So, it seems more likely to get struck by lightning than to become a billionaire. Ouch!
3. Chances of becoming a billionaire by race and education.
Factors such as education and race influence the chance of becoming a billionaire. The likelihood of becoming a millionaire with a high school degree is the highest among Asians (6%) and the lowest among African Americans (1%).
Considering this, the chance of becoming a black billionaire is probably even lower. For those without a high school degree, the possibility of becoming a millionaire or billionaire, no matter the race, is close to 0%.
4. Tesla’s Elon Musk tops the list of the wealthiest people overall.
Elon Musk is the wealthiest person in the world. At the age of 50, Musk is worth $219 billion. The mastermind behind Tesla and SpaceX has been busy revolutionizing earth and space transportation, but also amassing his fortune.
In the second place, we have Jeff Bezos, an American entrepreneur best known as the founder of Amazon. His net worth is $171 billion.
The third richest billionaire is Bernard Arnault. He is head of the LVMH empire. This French business magnate boasts a net worth of $158 billion.
5. The most interesting billionaire newcomers in 2022.
The year 2022 welcomed new members to the billionaires’ club. Here are some of them.
- Tang Xiao’ou from Hong Kong with a net worth of $5.7 billion. He’s the co-founder and executive director of SenseTime, an AI company.
- Falguni Nayar from India. She’s the founder and CEO of Nykaa, a beauty product retailer. Her net worth is $4.5 billion.
- The co-founder and CEO of design software maker Canva, 34-year-old Melanie Perkins from Australia, became a billionaire this year. She boasts a net worth of $6.5 billion.
6. Billionaires by industry.
- Elon Musk is the wealthiest billionaire in the automotive industry, with a net worth of $219 billion.
- Pallonji Mistry made $15 billion in the construction and engineering industry and controls the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
- Bloomberg LP’s co-founder Michael Bloomberg is the wealthiest in the media and entertainment industry, with an impressive net worth of $82 billion.
- Russian SPI Group owner Yuri Shefler is the wealthiest person in the food and beverage industry. His net worth is $1.5 billion.
7. World’s wealthiest billionaires by year.
In 2001, Bill Gates was the wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $57 billion. He was the wealthiest person until 2007 when Warren Buffett took over with a wealth of $60 billion. Gates climbed to the top a year later, in 2008.
In 2009, Carlos Slim Helu became the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $51 billion. Helu maintained the status of the wealthiest person in the world until 2013 when Gates retook first place.
In 2017, Jeff Bezos became the wealthiest person on the planet, with more than $110 billion net worth. Bezos was the wealthiest person until 2021 when Elon Musk took over. His net worth is $219 billion.
It’s interesting to note how the world’s wealthiest person in 2001 was worth $57 billion, while two decades later the richest person boasts a fortune of nearly $220 billion.
8. Wealthiest African Americans in the billionaire club.
African Americans are no longer “strangers” to the billionaires’ club. But their number is still lower than that of white billionaires. Certain African Americans are some of the wealthiest people on the planet.
- Robert F. Smith is the 451st wealthiest person globally and the richest African American, with a net worth of $6.7 billion.
- David Steward comes second. He’s the 807th wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $3.7 billion.
- Media magnate Oprah Winfrey is the 1,174th richest person in the world. She’s worth $2.7 billion.
9. Education of billionaires.
A higher education degree doesn’t guarantee billions. Of the 400 wealthiest US residents, 63 have high school degrees only, which is more than 15%. Two of them are Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.
From this list, there are 35 billionaires with a law degree, including Sumner Redstone and Penny Pritzker. Billionaires with a Master’s in Science are only 29, including Warren Buffet and Larry Page. Eric Schmidt and John Malone are among the 21 billionaires with PhDs. The number of billionaire MDs is only five.
10. Average time necessary to become a billionaire.
The average time necessary to become a billionaire is two decades. Most billionaires in the world need between one and two decades to become billionaires. Some needed up to six decades.
Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay as well as Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, needed only four years from the launch of their businesses to their first billion.
Reinhold Wuerth, a businessman and art collector from Germany, required the longest to become a billionaire, i.e., six decades.
11. Average time needed to become a billionaire by industry.
Tech and mining tycoons make the first billion the fastest when compared to other industries. They needed between nine and ten years to reach a net worth of 10 figures.
In second place are the real estate and automotive sectors. The billionaires from these industries needed approximately 16 and 20 years (respectively) to make a billion.
Manufacturing billionaires needed the longest to become billionaires, i.e., 33 years.
12. People who became billionaires the fastest.
Some of the wealthiest people in the world needed less time than other billionaires to amass their wealth.
Mark Zuckerberg, who boasts a net worth of $97 billion and is Facebook’s co-founder, needed only four years to turn a dream into reality.
Tycoon and investor Elon Musk took a decade to become a billionaire. He’s now worth $219 billion and works in the automotive industry.
Reinhold Wurth, a German businessman, and collector of art took six decades to earn his first billion from manufacturing fasteners.
So, there are no rules in the world of billionaires. You just need to work hard, believe in yourself, and wait to hit that magical number.
13. Billionaires in the entertainment industry.
Entertainment and billionaires are a great match. That’s why many of the world’s most popular celebrities boast multi-million and billion-dollar empires.
Let’s see some inspiring stories.
In 2021, film director Peter Jackson became a billionaire with a net worth of $1.5 billion. He welcomed his first billion after selling a part of his visual effects company to Unity Software.
Singer and beauty mogul Rihanna became a billionaire through her cosmetics and lingerie business, Fenty Beauty. She’s worth $1.7 billion.
American socialite and businesswoman Kim Kardashian became a billionaire in 2021, and she’s worth $1.8 billion. A large part of her fortune is from KKW Beauty stakes and from Skims.
14. People who lost their billionaire status.
In 2022, 329 billionaires lost their billionaire statuses. This is the highest drop in billionaires since 2009.
Shalom Meckenzie was worth $1.7 billion but experienced a decline to less than $900 million due to a decrease in his stake value.
Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt went from a net worth of $1 billion each to less than $800 million each.
The third place is reserved for RJ Scaringe, who went from being worth $3.4 billion to less than $700 million.
15. John D. Rockefeller was the first billionaire in history.
John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was born on July 8, 1839. He was an American business magnate, industrialist, and philanthropist who founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870. He was also the founder of Rockefeller University, as well as the University of Chicago.
Rockefeller became an assistant bookkeeper at 16 years old and went into several business partnerships beginning at 20 years old.
His main focus was on oil refining. In 1870 he founded the Standard Oil Company and began buying up other companies, eventually controlling 90% of American oil production by the late 1870s.
John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire in 1916.
It might be hard to picture what $1 billion looked like at that time—maybe it’s easier to understand if we think about it in terms of today’s dollars: if Rockefeller had left that same fortune behind today, it would be worth more than $285 billion!
Billionaire Statistics by Gender
16. US billionaires by gender.
Throughout history, the wage gap and other factors like gender stereotypes made it harder for women to earn more than men. And this increased men’s chances of becoming billionaires.
Despite the evident improvements in women’s earning status today, the gender discrepancy is still present.
According to data from 2021, approximately 11.88% of all US billionaires are females and the remaining 88.12% of billionaires are men.
17. Francoise B. Meyers’ is the wealthiest woman in the world.
The granddaughter of L’Oreal founder, Francoise B. Meyers, is the wealthiest woman on Earth. She is the 14th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $74.8 billion.
The second richest woman is Alice Walton, the only daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. This 72-year-old American is worth $65.3 billion and is the 18th richest person in the world.
With a net worth of $60 billion, Julia Koch comes third. She became a billionaire after inheriting her late husband’s fortune. Koch is the 21st richest person in the world.
18. Diane Hendricks leads the way for self-made female billionaires in the US.
The top six self-made female billionaires share a net worth of $36.8 billion.
- They are Diane Hendricks, (75-year-old) co-founder and chairman of ABC Supply with a net worth of $12.2 billion.
- Judy Faulkner, computer programmer (78-year-old) founder and CEO of Epic Systems with a net worth of $6.7 billion.
- Judy Love, (84-year-old) founder of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores with a fortune of $5.2 billion.
- Johnelle Hunt (90-year-old), co-founder of J.B. Hunt Transport Services with a wealth of $4.3 billion
- Marian Ilitch (89-year-old), co-founder of Little Caesars Pizza and owner of Detroit Red Wings and Motor City Casino Hotel with a net worth of $4.3 billion.
- Thai Lee (63-year-old), CEO of SHI International with a wealth of $4.1 billion.
19. Becoming a self-made billionaire takes a lifetime.
The figures above reveal another interesting trend among self-made women billionaires. Namely, the average age for becoming a self-made female billionaire is 79.
Hopefully, as times are changing and women are getting more opportunities than ever, the average age of becoming a woman billionaire will decrease.
20. The wealthiest self-made women in the world.
There are only 327 female billionaires. Less than 4% of them are self-made. The others became billionaires through inheritance. Self-made female billionaires are worth $331 billion.
The richest is Fan Hongwei from China. She’s worth $18.2 billion and chairs Hengli Petrochemical, an oil refining, and chemical fiber company.
Rafaela Aponte from Switzerland is second with a net worth of $16.8 billion. She founded the Mediterranean Shipping Company with her husband, and it’s now the largest shipping line in the world.
Wu Yajun from China comes third. Her worth is $15.3 billion. She made her wealth from her real estate development company Longfor Properties.
Billionaire Statistics by Country
21. The United States and China boast the biggest number of billionaires.
The US has the most billionaires, i.e., 735. Their shared worth is $4.7 trillion. China is the second country that boasts the highest number of billionaires. They have 539 of them, and they’re worth $1.96 trillion. India takes third place with 166 billionaires with a net worth of $750 billion.
For the first time, Bulgaria, Barbados, Uruguay, and Estonia have residents who are billionaires.
22. The average time needed to become a billionaire differs by location.
Russians and the Chinese become billionaires the fastest. Approximately, they need 16 years to reach a fortune of $1 billion.
Billionaires in the US need an estimated time of 18 years to make a billion. Most billionaires in the US acquire billions by working in finance or tech.
Billionaires in Hong Kong and France need less than 30 years to become billionaires; 29 years and 24 years, respectively.
Germans need the longest period of time to become billionaires, i.e., 48 years.
23. Notable billionaires by country.
Gina Rinehart is the wealthiest Australian, with a net worth of $30.2 billion. She made her wealth from working with iron ore.
Barbados has one billionaire, and this is singer and beauty mogul Rihanna. She made a fortune through her cosmetic line Fenty Beauty. Her estimated net worth is $1.7 billion.
In Russia, the wealthiest person is Vladimir Lisin, the chairman of NLMK Group, a manufacturer of steel products. His wealth is estimated at $18.4 billion.
24. New York is the city with the most billionaires.
New York Is the city with the most billionaires, i.e., 107. Their net worth is more than $640 billion. The richest resident is Michael Bloomberg, with a net worth of $82 billion.
The second city with the most billionaires (83 of them) is Beijing. Their shared wealth is $310 billion. Their wealthiest resident is Zhang Yiming, with a net worth of $50 billion.
In third place comes the city with 68 billionaires, i.e., Hong Kong. Their shared net worth is $304.6 billion. Lee Shau Kee is Hong Kong’s richest resident boasting a wealth of $32.6 billion.
25. European countries with the most billionaires in 2022.
Europe has 529 billionaires with a shared wealth of $12.7 trillion. Germany is the European country with the most billionaires.
Italy has 52 billionaire residents whose combined net worth is $194.5 billion. There are 134 of them, and their shared net worth is $608 billion.
Sweden is the home to 45 billionaire residents. They boast a shared wealth of $165.7 billion.
26. The richest Europeans in 2022.
The ten richest Europeans have a shared wealth of $590 billion.
The wealthiest European is Bernard Arnault from France, whose net worth is $158 billion. He’s the chairman and CEO of LVMH.
The second richest person is also from France, and this is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. She’s worth $74 billion. She’s the L’Oreal founder’s granddaughter and the wealthiest woman in the world.
The third richest European is Amancio Ortega from Spain. He boasts a net worth of $59 billion and is the co-founder of Inditex fashion group.
Billionaire Statistics by Age
27. Kevin David Lehmann is the youngest billionaire in the world at 19.
The youngest of the youngest is 19-year-old Kevin David Lehmann, with a net worth of $2.4 billion. The only teen on the list inherited half stake in dm-drogerie markt, a drugstore chain.
The second youngest billionaire is 25-year-old Alexandra Andresen from Norway. She’s worth $1.3 billion and inherited part of their family investment company Ferd.
Worth $1.5 billion, 25-year-old Pedro Franceschi from Brazil is among the youngest billionaires. Together with Henrique Dubugrass, Franceschi dropped out of Stanford. They amassed a fortune through their corporate startup Brex.
It seems that becoming a billionaire in your 20s is possible only if you inherit a fortune or have a really good business idea.
28. The youngest self-made billionaires.
Twelve individuals younger than 30 became billionaires in 2022. Together, they’re worth $25.8 billion. Four of them, younger than 30, are self-made newcomers.
The richest is 28-year-old Gary Wang, with a wealth of $4.5 billion. He’s the co-founder and CTO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Bahamas.
He’s joined by 27-year-old Ryan Breslow, whose net worth is $2 billion. He founded the payment software company Bolt and was its CEO until recently.
The other two are Franceschi and Dubugrass, founders of Brex, a startup for corporate credit cards. Each is worth $1.5 billion.
29. The youngest female billionaires in the world.
Out of the twelve 2022 World’s Billionaires younger than 30, two are females, and they happen to be sisters.
One is 25-year-old Alexandra Andresen from Norway. She became a billionaire after inheriting a part of their family investment company. Her net worth is $1.3 billion. The other is Katharina Andresen. The 26-year-old inherited a part of the company as well, and so she’s also worth $1.3 billion.
Congratulations on making it this far!
So, what do these billionaire statistics tell us? Quite a lot, actually. They show that no matter your background or income level, it’s possible to achieve billionaire status if you’re willing to put in the hard work and take the right steps.
And they also suggest that there are basically two paths to becoming wealthy (other than inheriting it of course 😉): having an asset-based investing strategy or building a business empire.
So whatever your plans for achieving financial independence may be, make sure you keep these billionaire stats top of mind.