The Richest People in the World in 2022
Today, the 10 richest people in the world control $1.3 trillion in wealth.
This scale of wealth is equal to approximately 1.3% of the world economy, Amazon’s entire market cap, or spending $1 million a day over 3,000 years. In fact, it’s almost double the amount seen two years ago ($663 billion).
As billionaire wealth accumulates at a remarkable speed, we feature a snapshot of the world’s richest in 2022, based on data from the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List.
Top 10 Richest People in the World
Elon Musk, with a fortune of $266 billion, is the richest person on the planet.
Despite supply chain bottlenecks, Tesla deliveries have increased 27% since the second quarter of 2021. Musk, who is also CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX, plans to send the largest rocket ever built into orbit in 2022. It spans 119 meters tall.
Here are the richest people in the world, based on data as of September 13, 2022:
|1||Elon Musk||Tesla, SpaceX||$266B||$151B||$115B|
|2||Bernard Arnault & family||LVMH||$160B||$150B||$10B|
|3||Gautam Adani & family|
|7||Warren Buffett||Berkshire Hathaway||$97B||$96B||$1B|
With a net worth of $150 billion, Jeff Bezos sits in fourth place. Since last March, Amazon shares have fallen over 20% in light of inflationary price pressures and lagging retail performance.
Most notably, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook) fell off the top 10 for the first time since 2016. Meta shares plunged after reporting the first-ever drop in global daily active users since 2004.
Growth Rates of the Top 10 Overall
Among the 10 richest people in the world, here’s who saw their wealth rise the fastest:
Gautam Adani saw his fortune rise more than any other in this top 10 list. Adani heads one of the three largest industrial conglomerates in India. In the coming years, Adani plans to invest $70 billion in the renewable energy sector.
Like Adani, Musk saw his wealth rise among the fastest, even as Tesla shares have declined over 30% since their peak in November.
Crypto Billionaires in 2022
Even amid the crypto winter, at least ten people worldwide have seen their wealth climb into the billions thanks to the stratospheric rise of cryptocurrencies.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the FTX crypto derivatives exchange, is at the top, with a jaw-dropping $18 billion net worth. Bankman-Fried launched the exchange in 2019 when he was 27.
FTX now has one million users and a $32 billion valuation.
|Rank||Name||Net Worth||Age (as of Sep 2022)|
Following Bankman-Fried is Changpeng Zhao, the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance. It is the largest exchange globally.
Also on the list are co-founders of Gemini cryptocurrency exchange Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, each with a net worth of over $2 billion. Like their rival, Mark Zuckerberg, they have their sights on building a metaverse.
Will billionaire wealth continue to accumulate at record rates? As the invasion of Ukraine presses on, it will likely have broader structural outcomes.
Some argue that war is a great leveler, a force that has reduced wealth inequality, as seen in the aftermath of WWII. Others suggest that it increases wealth divergence, especially when the war is financed by public debt. Often, costs have become inflated due to war, putting pressure on low and middle-income households.
Whether or not the war will have lasting effects on wealth distribution is an open question, however, if the pandemic serves as any precedent, the effects will be far from predictable.
Mapped: How Much Does it Take to be the Top 1% in Each U.S. State?
An annual income anywhere between $360,000-$950,000 can grant entry into the top 1%—depending on where you live in America.
How Much Does it Take to be the Top 1% in Each U.S. State?
There’s an old saying: everyone thinks that they’re middle-class.
But how many people think, or know, that they really belong to the top 1% in the country?
Data from personal finance advisory services company, SmartAsset, reveals the annual income threshold at which a household can be considered part of the top 1% in their state.
Some states demand a much higher yearly earnings from their residents to be a part of the rarefied league, but which ones are they, and how much does one need to earn to make it to the very top echelon of income?
Ranking U.S. States By Income to Be in the Top 1%
At the top of the list, a household in Connecticut needs to earn nearly $953,000 annually to be part of the one-percenters. This is the highest minimum threshold across the country.
In the same region, Massachusetts requires a minimum annual earnings of $903,401 from its top 1% residents.
Here’s the list of all 50 U.S. states along with the annual income needed to be in the 1%.
|Rank||State||Top 1% Income|
|Top 1% Tax Rate
(% of annual income)
California ($844,266), New Jersey ($817,346), and Washington ($804,853) round out the top five states with the highest minimum thresholds to make it to their exclusive rich club.
On the other end of the spectrum, the top one-percenters in West Virginia make a minimum of $367,582 a year, the lowest of all the states, and about one-third of the threshold in Connecticut. And just down southwest of the Mountain State, Mississippi’s one-percenters need to make at least $381,919 a year to qualify for the 1%.
A quick glance at the map above also reveals some regional insights.
The Northeast and West Coast, with their large urban and economic hubs, have higher income entry requirements for the top 1% than states in the American South.
This also correlates to the median income by state, a measure showing Massachusetts households make nearly $90,000 a year, compared to Mississippians who take home $49,000 annually.
How Much Do the Top 1% Pay in Taxes?
Meanwhile, if one does make it to the top 1% in states like Connecticut and Massachusetts, expect to pay more in taxes than other states, according to SmartAsset’s analysis.
The one-percenters in the top five states pay, on average, between 26–28% of their income in tax, compared to those in the bottom five who pay between 21–23%.
And this pattern exists through the dataset, with higher top 1% income thresholds correlating with higher average tax rates for the wealthy.
|State Ranks||Median Tax Rate|
These higher tax rates point to attempts to reign in the increasing wealth disparity in the nation where the top 1% hold more than one-third of the country’s wealth, up from 27% in 1989.
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