Saturday, April 29, 2017

Billionaires are growing

Recently, the Forbes has published the list of world’s billionaires. In it for the fourth year in a row, Bill Gates was named the richest man in the world. The number of billionaires increased 13% to 2,043 from 1,810 in 2016; this is the biggest change in over 30 years of tracking billionaires globally.

This is the first time after 12 years that Carlos Slim was not within the top five. The U.S. continues to have the most billionaires in the world, with a record of 565. China has 319 (this does not include Hong Kong with 67 and Macau with 1), Germany has 114 and India has the fourth most with 101; India has reached over 100 billionaires for its first time.

Here below is the list of 10 wealthiest people in our planet:

No.NameNet worth (USD)AgeNationalitySource(s) of wealth
1 SteadyBill Gates$86.0 billion Increase61 United StatesMicrosoft
2 IncreaseWarren Buffett$75.6 billion Increase86 United StatesBerkshire Hathaway
3 IncreaseJeff Bezos$72.8 billion Increase53 United StatesAmazon.com
4 DecreaseAmancio Ortega$71.3 billion Increase80 SpainInditex, Zara
5 IncreaseMark Zuckerberg$56.0 billion Increase32 United StatesFacebook
6 DecreaseCarlos Slim$54.5 billion Increase77 MexicoAmérica Móvil, Grupo Carso
7 SteadyLarry Ellison$52.2 billion Increase72 United StatesOracle Corporation
8 IncreaseCharles Koch$48.3 billion Increase81 United StatesKoch Industries
8 IncreaseDavid Koch$48.3 billion Increase76 United StatesKoch Industries
10 DecreaseMichael Bloomberg$47.5 billion Increase75 United StatesBloomberg L.P.

Legend

IconDescription
SteadyHas not changed from the previous ranking.
IncreaseHas increased from the previous ranking.
DecreaseHas decreased from the previous ranking.


What is also amazing is that the number of billionaires grew from 470 to 2043 in just 17 years between 2000 and 2017, while their cumulative wealth grew by more than 8 times from $898 billion to $7.67 trillion! (See the table below.)

Number and combined net worth of billionaires by year.
YearNumber of billionairesGroup's combined net worth
20172,043$7.67 trillion
20161,810$6.5 trillion
20151,826$7.1 trillion
20141,645$6.4 trillion
20131,426$5.4 trillion
20121,226$4.6 trillion
20111,210$4.5 trillion
20101,011$3.6 trillion
2009793$2.4 trillion
20081,125$4.4 trillion
2007946$3.5 trillion
2006793$2.6 trillion
2005691$2.2 trillion
2004587$1.9 trillion
2003476$1.4 trillion
2002497$1.5 trillion
2001538$1.8 trillion
2000470$0.9 trillion$898 billion
Source: Forbes.


No wonder while the poor is becoming poorer in our world the richest few are becoming richer!

It is not a healthy sign for our world. Nor is this gap between the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor sustainable. It is bound to implode large one day.  (To view my article on a similar issue - A second look at Pareto Principle, click here or here or here or here.)

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