If these top billionaires continue to see returns on their wealth, we could see the world's first trillionaire in as little as 25 years.
A recent study released by Oxfam found that the top 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the world's population since 2015. And the eight richest have the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world — nearly 4 billion people. If these top billionaires continue to see returns on their wealth, we could see the world's first trillionaire in as little as 25 years.
Currently, there are over 1,500 billionaires in the world, with more than 560 in the US alone. China, Germany, and India each have 100 or more billionaires who call the countries home, according to a report from UBS.
Ahead, nine of the world's wealthiest people — according to Forbes' Billionaire List — that have more wealth than half the world's population. Net worth estimates are current as of January 16.
The CEO and co-founder of Google sits at number nine with a net worth of $52.2 billion.
In 1977, Larry Ellison co-founded the software company Oracle, which originally was launched with $2,000 of funding, $1,200 of which came out of Ellison's own pocket. Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014, but continues to be involved with the company.
Carlos Slim Helu controls Latin America's largest mobile telecom firm, América Móvil, of which he is a chairman. Helu also owns stakes in various mining, real estate, and consumer goods businesses — including The New York Times. He is the richest man in Mexico.
Bernard Arnault has been the CEO of LVMH, which houses brands such as Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Dom Perignon, since 1989. Combined, the brands under LVMH sold $40 billion in sales in 2016.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg founded the website in his Harvard dorm room 13 years ago and has since become one of the richest people in the world. He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have committed to give away 99% of their wealth before they die.
Amancio Ortega is the wealthiest man in Europe, and co-founded fashion retailer Zara's parent company Inditex in 1975. His real-estate portfolio includes properties in London, New York, Madrid.
Wildly successful investor Warren Buffett is CEO of Berkshire Hathaway which owns over 60 companies. Although he still lives a somewhat modest lifestyle, he became a billionaire at age 32. In 2010, Buffett, alongside Bill Gates, created The Giving Pledge — promising to donate at least half of their fortunes to charities.
Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975, and has continued his involvement with the company as a technology advisor and board member. Gates also has investments in Canadian National Railway, AutoNation, and more. He and his wife Melinda founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which aims to help kindergarten through 12th grade students in the US.
Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos owns nearly 17% of the company. In 2013 he purchased the Washington Post for $250 million, and he also owns an aerospace company, Blue Origin. In 2017, Bezos made $19.3 billion.