Elon Musk has soared to the second place spot on Forbes’ 35th annual billionaire list for 2021, however Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is still number one.
Musk had the largest dollar gain on this year’s list, according to Forbes, with a fortune of $US151 billion ($A197 billion), a $US126.4 billion ($A165 billion) increase compared to $US24.6 billion ($A32 billion) last year, when the Tesla and SpaceX executive ranked at number 31. Tesla shares have risen about 705 per cent over the past year.
But the eccentric entrepreneur still trails behind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who continues his reign as the world’s richest person for the fourth consecutive year, raking in a worth of $US177 billion ($A231 billion) in 2021, up $US64 billion ($A84 billion) from a year ago, as a result of surging Amazon shares.
Rounding out the top five is Bernard Arnault, CEO of French company LVMH, which owns brands like Moet and Louis Vuitton, who is worth $US150 billion ($A195 billion), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at $US124 billion ($A161 billion), and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at $US97 billion ($A127 billion).
The top 10 richest people
Meanwhile, insurance, transportation and utility business Berkshire Hathway CEO Warren Buffett was knocked out of the top five for the first time since 1993, though he is still worth a whopping $US96 billion ($A128 billion).
He joins computer tech company Oracle CEO Larry Ellison ($US93 billion/$A121 billion), Google co-founders Larry Page ($US91.5 billion/$A119 billion) and Sergey Brin ($US89 billion/$A116 billion)) and Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani ($US84.5 billion/($A110 billion) in the top 10.
Together, the 10 men are worth a combined $US1.15 trillion ($A1.5 trillion), up by two-thirds from $US686 billion ($A895 billion) last year.
The total number of billionaires on Forbes’ list added 660 people in the last year, reaching an unprecedented 2755 people, who are worth a combined total of $US13.1 trillion ($A17.1 trillion), up from $US8 trillion ($A10 trillion) on the 2020 list. About 86 per cent of all billionaires are richer than a year ago.
Countries with the most billionaires
The US leads its counterparts with a total of 742 billionaires, but China is closing the gap with 698 billionaires, including 71 from Hong Kong and one from Macao. India has the third highest number of billionaires, with a total of 140.
Joining the list is a record 493 newcomers, including 210 from China and Hong Kong and 98 from the United States. The richest newcomer is Miriam Adelson ($US38.2 billion/$A50 billion), the widow of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who died in January.
Other notable newcomers include film and television producer Tyler Perry and Whitney Wolfe Heard, the co-founder of the Bumble dating app and the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.
Some of those newcomers earned their riches through cryptocurrency, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), traditional IPOs, and COVID-related health care, the media company said.
Approximately 106 of the list members are under 40, two-thirds of whom are self-made.
Youngest and oldest billionaires
The youngest billionaire on the list is 18-year-old Kevin David Lehmann of Germany, whose father, Guenther Lehmann, transferred his stake in drugstore chain dm-drogerie mkt to him. Meanwhile, the oldest self-made billionaire is Mercury Insurance founder George Joseph at 99 years old.
A record 1975 billionaires are self-made, or 72 per cent of the 2021 list, up from 1457, or 70 per cent of the list in 2020.
Forbes also saw the smallest number of drop-offs from its list in a decade with a total of 61 people, including Kardashian family member and makeup entrepreneur Kylie Jenner and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
The 2021 list was compiled using stock prices and exchange rates from March 5 to calculate net worths.
This story was originally published on Fox News and is reproduced here with permission