The Richest People in the World in 2022
Today, the 10 richest people in the world control $1.2 trillion in wealth.
This scale of wealth is equal to approximately 1.4% of the world economy, Amazon’s entire market cap, or spending $1 million a day for 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 $203 billion, is the richest person on the planet.
Despite supply chain bottlenecks, Tesla delivered a record number of vehicles globally in the first quarter of 2022. 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 June 13, 2022:
|Rank||Name||Source||Net Worth (June 2022)|
Net Worth (March 2021)
|1||Elon Musk||Tesla, SpaceX||$203B||$151B||$52B|
|2||Bernard Arnault & family||LVMH||$140B||$150B||-$10B|
|5||Warren Buffett||Berkshire Hathaway||$102B||$96B||$6B|
|7||Gautam Adani & family||Infrastructure, Commodities||$97B||$51B||$46B|
With a net worth of $129 billion, Jeff Bezos falls in third place. Since last March, Amazon shares have fallen almost 30% in light of weaker earnings 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 40% 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 $21 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 June 13)|
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 $4 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: The Salary You Need to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Cities
Is owning a home still realistic? This map lays out the salary you’d need to buy a home in 50 different U.S. metro areas.
This is the Salary You Need to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Cities
Depending on where you live, owning a home may seem like a far off dream or it could be fairly realistic. In New York City, for example, a person needs to be making at least six figures to buy a home, but in Cleveland you could do it with just over $45,000 a year.
This visual, using data from Home Sweet Home, maps out the annual salary you’d need for home ownership in 50 different U.S. cities.
Note: The map above refers to entire metro areas and uses Q1 2022 data on median home prices. The necessary salary was calculated by the source, looking at the base cost of principal, interest, property tax, and homeowner’s insurance.
Home Ownership Across the U.S.
San Jose is by far the most expensive city when it comes to purchasing a home. A person would need to earn over $330,000 annually to pay off the mortgage at a monthly rate of $7,718.
Here’s a closer look at the numbers:
|Rank||Metro Area||Median Home Price||Salary Needed|
|#7||New York City||$578,100||$129,459|
|#15||Salt Lake City||$556,900||$100,970|
Perhaps surprisingly, Boston residents need slightly higher earnings than New Yorkers to buy a home. The same is also true in Seattle and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, some of the cheapest cities to start buying up real estate in are Oklahoma City and Cleveland.
As of April, the rate of home ownership in the U.S. is 65%. This number represents the share of homes that are occupied by the owner, rather than rented out or vacant.
The American Dream Home
As of the time of this data (Q1 2022), the national yearly fixed mortgage rate sat at 4% and median home price at $368,200. This put the salary needed to buy a home at almost $76,000—the median national household income falls almost $9,000 below that.
But what kind of homes are people looking to purchase? Depending on where you live the type of home and square footage you can get will be very different.
In New York City, for example, there are fairly few stand-alone, single-family houses in the traditional sense—only around 4,000 are ever on the market. People in the Big Apple tend to buy condominiums or multi-family units.
Additionally, if you’re looking for luxury, not even seven figures will get you much in the big cities. In Miami, a million dollars will only buy you 833 square feet of prime real estate.
One thing is for sure: the typical American dream home of the big house with a yard and white picket fence is more attainable in smaller metro areas with ample suburbs.
Buying vs. Renting
The U.S. median household income is $67,500, meaning that today the typical family could only afford a home in about 15 of the 50 metro areas highlighted above, including New Orleans, Buffalo, and Indianapolis.
With the income gap widening in the U.S., the rental market remains a more attractive option for many, especially as prices are finally tapering off. The national median rent price was down nearly 3% from June to July for two-bedroom apartments.
At the end of the day, buying a home can be an important investment and may provide a sense of security, but it will be much easier to do in certain types of cities.
Countries with the Highest Default Risk in 2022
In this infographic, we examine new data that ranks the top 25 countries by their default risk.
Countries with the Highest Default Risk in 2022
In May 2022, the South Asian nation of Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt for the first time. The country’s government was given a 30-day grace period to cover $78 million in unpaid interest, but ultimately failed to pay.
Not only does this impact Sri Lanka’s economic future, but it also raises an important question: which other countries are at risk of default?
To find out, we’ve used data from Bloomberg to rank the countries with the highest default risk.
The Sovereign Debt Vulnerability Ranking
Bloomberg’s Sovereign Debt Vulnerability Ranking is a composite measure of a country’s default risk. It’s based on four underlying metrics:
- Government bond yields (the weighted-average yield of the country’s dollar bonds)
- 5-year credit default swap (CDS) spread
- Interest expense as a percentage of GDP
- Government debt as a percentage of GDP
To better understand this ranking, let’s focus on Ukraine and El Salvador as examples.
|5Y CDS Spread||Interest Expense|
(% of GDP)
(% of GDP)
|🇸🇻 El Salvador||1||31.8%||3,376 bps|
|🇺🇦 Ukraine||8||60.4%||10,856 bps|
1 basis point (bps) = 0.01%
Why are Ukraine’s Bond Yields so High?
Ukraine has high default risk due to its ongoing conflict with Russia. To understand why, consider a scenario where Russia was to assume control of the country. If this happened, it’s possible that Ukraine’s existing debt obligations will never be repaid.
That scenario has prompted a sell-off of Ukrainian government bonds, pushing their value down to nearly 30 cents on the dollar. This means that a bond with face value of $100 could be purchased for $30.
Because yields move in the opposite direction of price, the average yield on these bonds has climbed to a very high 60.4%. As a point of comparison, the yield on a U.S. 10-year government bond is currently 2.9%.
What is a CDS Spread?
Credit default swaps (CDS) are a type of derivative (financial contract) that provides a lender with insurance in the event of a default. The seller of the CDS represents a third party between the lender (investors) and borrower (in this case, governments).
In exchange for receiving coverage, the buyer of a CDS pays a fee known as the spread, which is expressed in basis points (bps). If a CDS has a spread of 300 bps (3%), this means that to insure $100 in debt, the investor must pay $3 per year.
Applying this to Ukraine’s 5-year CDS spread of 10,856 bps (108.56%), an investor would need to pay $108.56 each year to insure $100 in debt. This suggests that the market has very little faith in Ukraine’s ability to avoid default.
Why is El Salvador Ranked Higher?
Despite having lower values in the two metrics discussed above, El Salvador ranks higher than Ukraine because of its larger interest expense and total government debt.
According to the data above, El Salvador has annual interest payments equal to 4.9% of its GDP, which is relatively high. Comparing to the U.S. once more, America’s federal interest costs amounted to 1.6% of GDP in 2020.
When totaled, El Salvador’s outstanding debts are equal to 82.6% of GDP. This is considered high by historical standards, but today it’s actually quite normal.
The next date to watch will be January 2023, as this is when the country’s $800 million sovereign bond reaches maturity. Recent research suggests that if El Salvador were to default, it would experience significant, yet temporary, negative effects.
Another Hot Topic for El Salvador: Bitcoin
In September 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. This means that Bitcoin is recognized by law as a means to settle debts and other obligations.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) criticized this decision in early 2022, urging the country to revoke legal tender status. In hindsight, these warnings were wise, as Bitcoin’s value has fallen by 56% year-to-date.
While this isn’t directly related to El Salvador’s default risk, it does open potential avenues for relief. For instance, large players in the crypto space may be willing to assist the government to keep the concept of “nation-state bitcoin adoption” alive.
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