The Rich Got Richer During COVID-19. Especially American Billionaires
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The Rich Got Richer During COVID-19. Here’s How American Billionaires Performed

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American Billionaires During COVID

The Briefing

  • In year defined by a global pandemic, many of the wealthiest people in the U.S. saw their wealth grow substantially
  • Since the market bottom in March 2020, the billionaires on this list grew their wealth by 57% on average
  • Elon Musk had the highest net worth increase at $128.9 billion

How American Billionaire Wealth Did During COVID-19

We’ve all been affected by the pandemic-induced mayhem of 2020. But when it comes to finances, some have fared far better than others.

While job loss persists for Americans making less than $20 an hour, the rich have gotten richer. More specifically, the most wealthy American billionaires have seen their net worth bounce back dramatically, thanks to strong stock market performance.

Here’s a look at who’s gotten richer since the market bottom in March 2020, and just how much their net worth has increased since then:

Billionaire Net Worth Growth in 2020

Between March’s market bottom and December 2020, the billionaires included on this list grew their wealth by 57% on average. Interestingly, that’s about 10 percentage points higher than the overall growth of the S&P 500 index during the same time period.

NameMain SourceWealth Growth
(Mar 18–Dec 21, 2020)
Net worth % Growth
(Mar 18– Dec 21, 2020)
Jeff BezosAmazon$73.7 B65%
Elon MuskTesla, SpaceX$128.9 B524%
Bill GatesMicrosoft$ 22.1 B23%
Mark ZuckerbergFacebook$46.8 B86%
Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway$17.5 B26%
Larry EllisonOracle$29.5 B50%
Larry PageGoogle$25.4 B50%
Sergey BrinGoogle$25.0 B51%
Steve BallmerMicrosoft$21.4 B41%
Alice WaltonWalmart$13.7 B25%
Jim WaltonWalmart$13.3 B24%
Rob WaltonWalmart$13.5 B25%
MacKenzie ScottAmazon$20.5 B57%
Michael BloombergBloomberg LP$6.9 B14%
Phil KnightNike$22.1 B75%
Total Average$480.3 B57%

Elon Musk saw the highest increase during this period, with a $129 billion boost in net worth—that’s a whopping 523% in gains.

This makes sense considering the year Musk has had. Tesla’s market value has skyrocketed throughout 2020, and SpaceX’s long term valuation doubled after making some monumental strides in the private space industry.

Jeff Bezos saw the second highest growth in net worth with a $74 billion increase. This isn’t surprising, given that Amazon’s stock price has climbed 69% since the beginning of 2020.

But Amazon hasn’t been the only company to benefit from the accelerated e-commerce market—other retailers, like Nike, have also seen a significant boost in online sales this year as well.

Billionaire Wealth in General is Up

It’s not just the billionaires on this list that have increased their wealth. In fact, during the pandemic, billionaire wealth on average has increased 27% worldwide. Growth has been exceptionally strong in tech and healthcare.

Will things level out post-pandemic, or will the wealth gap continue to grow?

Where does this data come from?

Source: Forbes and Yahoo Finance.
Details: Net worth figures for March 2020 were pulled from Forbes 34th annual List of Global Billionaires. Figures for Dec 2020 were taken from Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires List on Dec 21 2020.

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Charted: The Ukraine War Civilian Death Toll

Using data from the UN, this chart shows civilian death toll figures resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Ukraine war death toll

The Briefing

  • In total, since the war began in February there have been over 7,031 Ukrainian civilian deaths
  • Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons, such as missiles and heavy artillery

Charted: The Ukraine War Civilian Death Toll

Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine has wrought suffering and death on a mass scale, with many Russian attacks targeted at civilians.

We’ve created this visual using data from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to better understand how many civilians have died in Ukraine as a result of the war, as well as how many were injured and how many were children.

The Numbers

As of early December, it is reported that 7,031 people in Ukraine have died because of the war — 433 of them children. Another 11,327 have been injured, 827 of which are children. In total, this is over 18,000 people killed or injured.

The figures are difficult to verify due to differing reports coming out of both Russia and Ukraine. The UN OHCHR anticipates that the numbers could be even higher.

The State of the Conflict

The war began on February 24th, 2022 and less than a year in, millions of people have been displaced by the conflict, and thousands of civilians have been injured or killed.

According to the UN, most of the civilian deaths have been caused by wide-ranging explosives such as heavy artillery shelling, missiles, and air strikes, and have been concentrated in Donetsk and Luhansk and in other territory still held by Ukraine.

Additionally, new estimates from Kyiv report approximately 13,000 Ukrainian military or soldier deaths, which has yet to be confirmed by the army.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights monthly reports on civilian deaths in Ukraine.

Note: Data on deaths and injuries can vary wildly depending on the source.

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