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2,755 Billionaires Announced in Forbes 35th Annual World’s Billionaires List
With Unprecedented Number of 493 Newcomers
Forbes
NEW YORK (April 6, 2021) — Forbes’ 35th annual world’s billionaires list, released today, reveals a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires, including 493 — newcomers — unprecedented by any measure, especially in a year in which large economies around the world were hampered by the coronavirus pandemic. Altogether they are worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion on the 2020 list.

“This was a record-breaking year in multiple ways, with more newcomers than ever before and more billionaires globally,” said Kerry A. Dolan, Assistant Managing Editor, Wealth. “It was also the first time that the combined net worth of the world’s billions crossed into double-digit trillions. The pace at which huge fortunes have been created is astonishing.”

In a comprehensive essay, titled “Operation Wealth Speed,” Chief Content Officer Randall Lane writes: “While the initial reaction to the billionaire surge of 2021 will lean toward outrage, the underlying trends offer a road map to greater prosperity for all. Like anything else salvaged from a once-a-century plague, we just need to be brave enough to harness it.”

Despite the turmoil that we’ve seen, Lane writes, people are defying the odds to overcome challenges, like Tyler Perry, who created his own studios in Atlanta because no one would give him a break in Hollywood, or Uğur Şahin, the Turkish immigrant to Germany whose BioNTech helped produce a Covid-19 vaccine in months, rather than years — all embody economic dynamism.

Key Factoids for the 2021 World’s Billionaires list:

• Top Five: Soon-to-be former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos retains the top spot on this year’s ranking for the fourth consecutive year. Elon Musk rocketed into the number two spot, up from No. 31 on last year’s ranking. Bernard Arnault of LVMH remains at No. 3, followed by Bill Gates, No. 4. Rounding out the top five on this year’s ranking is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. This is the first year Warren Buffett has not been among the top five richest in more than two decades.

• Newcomers: Among the list of notable newcomers is Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of dating app Bumble, which went public in February of this year.

• Self-Made: The 2021 ranking features a record 1,975 self-made billionaires, who have built a company or established a fortune on their own.

• Women: There are 328 female billionaires, up from 241 in 2020.

• Globally: Asia-Pacific boasts the most billionaires, with 1,149, followed by the United States with 724 and Europe with 628.

To view the full list, visit www.forbes.com/billionaires.

The package will be among Forbes’ most visually striking ever and include custom header artwork that takes inspiration from currency around the world. It will also feature sophisticated black-and-white photography of the newcomers and a new interactive element embedded directly into the list itself, allowing our audience to explore each individual billionaire’s wealth stats, key facts and the names of other Forbes lists on which they appear.

The 2021 World’s Billionaires issue features five consecutive covers.

The Cover Stories Include:

• Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss: Forbes’ latest magazine cover features Bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Forbes recently announced that this cover featuring the Winklevii has been turned into a non-fungible token (NFT) and will be auctioned on Wednesday, April 5 on Nifty Gateway. The NFT platform Nifty Gateway was purchased by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in November 2019.

• David Vélez, whose no-fee Nubank is the most valuable digital bank in the world, with 35 million customers — and he’s gunning for more.

• Judy Faulkner, the billionaire founder of Epic Systems, who pioneered — then dominated — electronic medical records.

• Austin Russell, 26, now the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, dropped out of Stanford in 2012 to found laser lidar startup Luminar Technologies, after getting a $100,000 fellowship from billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel.

• Kate Wang, 39, also one of the world’s youngest self-made female billionaires, is the CEO of Chinese vaping company RLX Technology, which went public earlier this year.

Methodology

The Forbes World’s Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and exchange rates from March 5, 2021.

For the Forbes 2021 World’s Billionaires list, features and more, visit: www.forbes.com/billionaires

To follow the conversation on social, use: #ForbesBillionaires

About Forbes

Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 140 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Forbes Virtual events, custom marketing programs and 32 licensed local editions in 71 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements. For more information, visit the Forbes News Hub or Forbes Connect.

Media Contacts:
US – Christina Vega Magrini at cmagrini@forbes.com or Jocelyn Swift at jswift@forbes.com
Asia – Catherine Ong at cath@catherineong.com
Europe – Charlotte Juckes at c.juckes@hawthornadvisors.com



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