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The Richest People in the World in 2023

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Richest People in the World in 2023

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The Richest People in the World in 2023

After witnessing record gains in wealth, ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) lost a combined $10 trillion last year.

A lagging stock market dented these fortunes against high interest rates, energy shocks, and economic uncertainty. But in 2023, some of the world’s billionaires have flourished, posting sky-high revenues in spite of inflationary pressures.

With data from Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, we feature a snapshot of the richest people in the world in 2023.

Elon Musk at the Top

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and the company’s largest shareholder, is the wealthiest person in the world. Musk’s net worth stands at over $245 billion.

In November, Tesla launched its Cybertruck, its first new passenger vehicle in three years. Musk called it the company’s “best product ever.” The event drew mixed responses, with some complaining that cheaper models had jumped $20,000 from previous price targets.

In the table below, we show the world’s 10 richest people with data as of November 30, 2023:

RankNameSourceNet Worth
Dec 2023
1Elon MuskTesla, SpaceX$245B
2Bernard Arnault & familyLVMH$191B
3Jeff BezosAmazon$168B
4Larry EllisonOracle$147B
5Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway$119B
6Bill GatesMicrosoft$118B
7Mark ZuckerbergMeta (Facebook)$116B
8Steve BallmerMicrosoft$113B
9Larry PageGoogle$112B
10Sergey BrinGoogle$107B

The second-richest person in the world is France’s Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH. With 75 brands, the luxury conglomerate owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Tiffany.

Third on the list is Jeff Bezos, followed by Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Oracle, a multi-billion dollar cloud provider, is partnering with Nvidia in its artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing platform designed for enterprises across multiple industries.

Fifth on the list is Warren Buffett. In his 2022 annual letter to shareholders, he discussed how Berkshire Hathaway reported record operating profits despite economic headwinds. The company outperformed the S&P 500 Index by about 22% in 2022.

How Fortunes Have Changed

Given multiple economic crosscurrents, billionaire wealth has diverged over the last year. Zuckerberg’s wealth has soared the fastest, at 57%, followed by Ellison at 43%.

In its “year of efficiency,” Meta has laid off over 10,000 employees this year on top of 11,000 in November of 2022. Meanwhile, online advertising has bounced back in 2023, and the company posted better-than-expected revenues in the third quarter.

Top 10 Richest People in the World Growth

Bill Gates has seen his wealth decline 9%, or $11 billion, the most across the top 10 richest.

So far this year, AI market euphoria has led fortunes in big tech to rebound, although not all have fully recovered. In 2022, the top 10 tech billionaires lost almost $500 billion in combined wealth.

Taylor Swift Reaches Billionaire Status

Thanks to the stunning success of the Eras Tour, Taylor Swift became one of the newest members of the Forbes list in October, with a $1.1 billion net worth.

The tour has added an estimated $4.3 billion to U.S. GDP.

Swift’s music sales have generated the majority of her fortune, at $400 million since 2019. This is followed by ticket sales and merchandise ($370 million), streaming earnings ($120 million), and the value of her five personal properties ($110 million).

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Millennials

Visualizing the Wealth of Americans Under 40 (1989-2023)

The wealth of American Millennials hit historic highs after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This line chart shows the growth of wealth for Americans under 40 over the last 40 decades.

Visualizing the Wealth of Americans Under 40 (1989-2023)

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Millennials have been often referred to as a “broke generation.” Whether in conversations or on the news, it is common to hear how those born in the 1980s or 1990s are struggling in today’s economy, particularly when it comes to entering the housing market or saving for retirement.

However, data shows that the wealth of Americans under 40 years old has hit historic highs after the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that millennials have accumulated more wealth by their 40s than previous generations.

To illustrate this, the graphic above shows the average wealth per household, adjusted for inflation, for Americans under 40 years old from Q4 1989 to Q4 2023 (in December 2023 dollars). The data is sourced from the Federal Reserve and accessed via the Center for American Progress.

Post-Pandemic Recovery

Data indicates that younger Americans have reaped the most benefits from the strong economic recovery after the pandemic, enjoying low unemployment rates and rapid wage growth.

The average wealth of U.S. households under 40 was $259,000 in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, compared to $164,000 in Q4 1989 and $182,000 in Q4 2000.

QuarterAverage Wealth for Those Under 40 (USD)
Q4 1990152K
Q4 1995146K
Q4 2000182K
Q4 2005184K
Q4 2010100K
Q4 2015148K
Q4 2020231K
Q4 2023259K

Looking specifically at millennial households, inflation-adjusted wealth has more than doubled during the same period.

The increase in younger Americans’ wealth is not concentrated in a single area. Average housing wealth—house values minus mortgage debt—rose by $22,000 from 2019 to 2023. Younger Americans also saw gains in liquid assets, such as bank deposits and money market mutual funds, business ownership, and financial assets, mainly stocks and mutual funds.

Additionally, non-housing debt, such as credit card and student loan debt, fell for this age group after the pandemic.

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