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Elon Musk is the World’s Richest Person in 2021

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Elon Musk is the Worlds Richest Person in 2021

Elon Musk is the Worlds Richest Person in 2021

The Briefing

  • Just six days into the new year, Elon Musk became the world’s richest person in 2021
  • His personal fortune is $188 billion, up 548% from one year ago
  • Tesla shares are up 1,030% since the market bottom in 2020
  • Elon Musk’s rocketing net worth may be the fastest accumulation of wealth in history

Elon Musk is the World’s Richest Person in 2021

2021 has been touted as a year of change.

And as far the pecking order of global wealth goes, the new year has already delivered. Just six days in, Elon Musk had already lapped Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person in 2021 with a personal net worth of $188 billion.

How did this happen so fast?

Since the stock market bottom in March 2020, Tesla shares have skyrocketed by 1,030% to $816 per share. Elon Musk happens to own about 241 million of those shares, putting his wealth accumulation into overdrive in a short period of time.

Pedal to the Medal

The boom in wealth has been so prolific for Musk that he’s left other billionaires in the dust.

One year ago, he wouldn’t have cracked the top 20 list—but with a surge in wealth of 548% since a year ago, he now sits at the top of the heat as the world’s richest person.

RankBillionaireWealth (Jan 6, 2021)One-Year Change
#1🇺🇸 Elon Musk $188 billion548%
#2🇺🇸 Jeff Bezos$184 billion57%
#3🇺🇸 Bill Gates$132 billion45%
#4🇫🇷 Bernard Arnault$114 billion8%
#5🇺🇸 Mark Zuckerberg$100 billion23%
#6🇨🇳 Zhong Shanshan$93 billionn/a
#7🇺🇸 Warren Buffett$87 billion-2%
#8🇺🇸 Larry Page$82 billion22%
#9🇺🇸 Sergey Brin$79 billion22%
#10🇺🇸 Larry Ellison$79 billion32%

Is this a temporary bump, or will Elon Musk stay atop the world’s richest person rankings for the rest of 2021?

Really, it all depends on Tesla’s stock price performance—and those that have bet against Tesla in recent years don’t have a great track record to lean on.

That said, price swings can happen in either direction, and if Tesla’s stock finds itself coming down to Earth, it’s possible that Musk’s ranking in the billionaire pecking order could tumble down with it.

>> Liked this? See how Elon Musk built his empire

Where does this data come from?

Source: Bloomberg Billionaire Index
Details: Jan 6th, 2021 data
Notes: Net worth figures on the tracker get updated frequently, so any up-to-date data may not match that of this article.

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The U.S. Share of the Global Economy Over Time

As of 2019, the U.S. made up almost a quarter of the global economy. This chart shows how the U.S. Share of the global GDP has changed over time.

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us share of global gdp

The Briefing

  • The U.S. share of the global economy has nearly halved since 1960
  • America’s nominal GDP in current U.S. dollars is $21.4 trillion, or about 24% of the share of the global economy

The World’s Largest Economy

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP, and its influence on the global economy is quite remarkable.

As of 2019, the U.S. made up almost a quarter of the global economy. But how has America’s share of the economic pie changed over time?

The U.S. Share of the Global Economy Over Time

While the U.S. economy has grown quickly over time, the global economy has grown quicker.

Since peaking at 40% in 1960, the U.S. share of the world economy has been cut almost in half, despite a rising national GDP and being the birthplace of some of the biggest companies on the planet.

YearGlobal GDPU.S. GDPU.S. Share of Global Economy
1960$1.37T$0.53T40%
1965$1.97T$0.74T38%
1970$2.96T$1.07T36%
1975$5.92T$1.69T28%
1980$11.23T$2.86T25%
1985$12.79T$4.34T34%
1990$22.63T$5.96T26%
1995$30.89T$7.64T25%
2000$33.62T$10.25T30%
2005$47.53T$13.04T28%
2010$66.13T$14.99T23%
2015$75.22T$18.23T24%
2019$87.80T$21.43T24%

The decline of America’s contribution to global GDP has been slow and uneven, with crests and troughs along the way.

Between 1965 and 1980, the country’s share fell by 13 percentage points, mainly due to stagflation of the 1970s. This decline was followed by Reaganomics and a period of strong recovery, which helped propel the U.S. share of the global economy back up to 34% by 1985.

The whipsawing would continue. Between 1985 and 1995, the U.S share fell by another 11 percentage points, only to bounce back to a local peak of 30% by the year 2000.

Downhill From Here?

Since the beginning of the 21st century, growth in many developing markets has continued at a rapid pace—and the U.S. share of the global economy has decreased as a result.

Until 2005, the U.S. still accounted for 28% of global GDP, but the Global Financial Crisis left a big dent, and its share fell to 23% by 2010. It has since remained relatively stable at 24%.

It’s important to put this decline into perspective. For instance, China’s share of the global economy grew from 4% in 1960 to 16.3% in 2019. Over that same time period, other countries like South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and India also saw their emergence on the economic world stage, as well.

What the Future Holds

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the course of the global economy, with most countries experiencing a recession in 2020. America’s economic position will depend on how quickly it can recover compared to the rest of the world.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The World Bank
Details: Data is in current U.S. dollars. Dollar figures for GDP are converted from domestic currencies using single year official exchange rates.

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America’s Most Responsible Companies in 2021

Which American companies are leading the way when it comes to corporate responsibility? Here’s a look at 2021’s most responsible companies.

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America's Most Responsible Corporations

The Briefing

  • Overall, HP was rated the most responsible American company in 2021
  • When it came to environmental initiatives, Waters took the top spot. The biotech company has committed to reducing its emissions by 35% from its 2016 levels
  • General Motors received the top score in social responsibility—it’s the only major U.S. company with both a female CEO and CFO
  • In the corporate governance category, Qualcomm placed first. The company runs a number of education programs to help engage women and minorities in STEM related-fields

America’s Most Responsible Companies in 2021

Consumers are becoming increasingly more thoughtful about the brands they support and buy from. In the U.S. and UK, 68% of online consumers would or might stop buying from a brand with weak corporate responsibility practices.

Because of this, companies need to ensure their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are up to snuff in order to be competitive.

With this in mind, here’s a look at the top 20 most responsible companies in America, and what they’ve been doing to give back to their communities.

The Top 20 Most Responsible Companies

Newsweek and Statista used a four-step methodology to identify America’s most responsible companies. The process included a pre-screening, as well as in-depth CSR document review, and a consumer survey.

From there, companies were given a score out of 100 and ranked accordingly. With a score of 93.2, HP placed first as America’s most responsible company:

RankCompanyOverall Score (out of 100)
1HP93.2
2NVIDIA92.7
3Microsoft91.9
4Cisco Systems91.7
5Qualcomm91.5
6General Mills91.3
7Whirlpool91.3
8Illumina90.9
9Citigroup89.5
10Dell Technologies89.4
11Lam Research88.8
12General Motors88.7
13American Express88.5
14Nielsen88.4
15Mettler-Toledo International88.3
16MetLife88.2
17Merck & Co88.1
18International Flavors & Fragrances88.0
19Waters87.7
20Intel87.4

In its 2019 Sustainable Impact Report, HP outlined how it’s been working to drive sustainability in three key areas—the planet, people, and community. And the company has made some impressive progress. For instance, in 2019 it used over 1 million pounds of ocean-bound plastic in its products.

It’s not a huge surprise that HP has taken the top spot on the list. The company is known for its innovation and progressive practices. In 2020, it was recognized as one of the top 20 most innovative organizations of the year.

Corporate Responsibility in a COVID World

The world’s continual struggle with COVID-19 has put an even larger emphasis on CSR, and the importance of supporting the community at large.

It’s no longer just the right thing to do. As consumer demand for transparency and corporate responsibility escalates, CSR practices are transitioning from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have. And organizations need to get on board before they’re left behind.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Newsweek and Statista
Notes: For more information on methodology, click here

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