The 10 Wealthiest Individuals Globally (2024)

As we delve into 2024, the landscape of global wealth continues to evolve, with familiar names dominating the upper echelons of the world’s richest individuals. These titans of industry have amassed fortunes that not only shape the global economy but also influence technological advancements, consumer behavior, and even space exploration. 

Based on data from the Real-Time Billionaires List, let’s explore the top 10 richest people in the world as of 2024, examining their sources of wealth, recent developments, and the impact they’ve had on their respective industries.

1. Elon Musk

Net Worth: $208 billion

Source of Wealth: Tesla, SpaceX, X (formerly Twitter)

Elon Musk, the South African-born entrepreneur, continues to hold the title of the world’s richest person in 2024. His wealth primarily stems from his leadership roles in Tesla and SpaceX, two companies that have revolutionized the automotive and aerospace industries, respectively.

Tesla, under Musk’s guidance, has maintained its position as the world’s most valuable automaker, pushing the boundaries of electric vehicle technology and sustainable energy solutions. The company’s stock price has experienced significant volatility but remains a powerhouse in the market.

SpaceX, Musk’s private space exploration company, has made remarkable strides in reusable rocket technology and has become a key player in NASA’s plans for future space missions. The company’s Starlink satellite internet service has also expanded its global reach, providing high-speed internet to remote areas.

In addition to these ventures, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter (now rebranded as X) in 2022 for $44 billion has been a subject of intense scrutiny and debate. Despite facing challenges in monetizing the platform and dealing with content moderation issues, Musk continues to push for changes in the social media landscape.

Musk’s other ventures, including Neuralink (brain-computer interfaces) and The Boring Company (tunnel construction and transportation systems), continue to attract attention and investment, further solidifying his position at the top of the wealth pyramid.

2. Jeff Bezos

Net Worth: $197 billion
Source of Wealth: Amazon, Blue Origin

According to the Real-Time Billionaires List, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, holds the second spot on the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Although he stepped down as CEO of Amazon in 2021, Bezos remains executive chairman and continues to benefit from the company’s success.

Amazon has further expanded its e-commerce dominance and cloud computing services through Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company’s foray into healthcare, through its acquisition of One Medical and the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, has positioned it as a significant player in the healthcare industry.

Bezos has also been focusing on his space exploration company, Blue Origin, which competes with SpaceX in the commercial space race. The company has made progress in developing reusable rockets and has ambitious plans for space tourism and lunar missions.

In addition to his business ventures, Bezos has increased his philanthropic efforts through the Bezos Earth Fund, which aims to combat climate change, and the Day One Fund, focused on helping homeless families and creating preschools in low-income communities.

3. Bernard Arnault & family

Net Worth: $193 billion

Source of Wealth: LVMH

Bernard Arnault, the French business magnate, and his family have maintained their position as the third wealthiest entity in the world. As the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Arnault oversees a vast empire of luxury brands.

LVMH’s portfolio includes iconic fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Fendi, as well as prestigious champagne and spirits brands like Moët & Chandon and Hennessy. The company’s acquisition of Tiffany & Co. in 2021 for $15.8 billion has further strengthened its position in the jewelry market.

Arnault’s strategic leadership has helped LVMH navigate the challenges posed by the global pandemic and changing consumer preferences. The company has successfully adapted to the digital landscape while maintaining the exclusivity and craftsmanship associated with luxury brands.

4. Mark Zuckerberg

Net Worth: $167 billion
Source of Wealth: Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook)

Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), has seen his wealth fluctuate in recent years but remains firmly in the top five richest people in the world. Meta’s core platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, continue to dominate the social media landscape.

Zuckerberg’s focus on the “metaverse” – a virtual reality-based successor to the current internet – has been a significant driver of the company’s strategy. Despite facing challenges and skepticism, Meta has invested heavily in virtual and augmented reality technologies through its Reality Labs division.

The company has also been navigating regulatory challenges and public scrutiny regarding data privacy, content moderation, and the impact of social media on society. Zuckerberg’s leadership in addressing these issues while driving innovation has been crucial to maintaining Meta’s market position.

5. Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison’s net worth: $149 billion
Source of Wealth: Oracle

Larry Ellison, co-founder, executive chairman, and CTO of Oracle Corporation, rounds out the top five wealthiest individuals. Oracle continues to be a major player in the enterprise software and cloud computing markets, competing with giants like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Ellison’s strategic decisions, including the acquisition of health IT company Cerner for $28.3 billion in 2022, have positioned Oracle for growth in the healthcare sector. The company’s focus on autonomous database technology and cloud infrastructure services has helped maintain its relevance in a rapidly evolving tech landscape.

In addition to his role at Oracle, Ellison is known for his investments in other tech companies, including a significant stake in Tesla. His ownership of the Hawaiian island of Lanai, where he has implemented sustainable development projects, also contributes to his diverse portfolio.

6. Larry Page

Net Worth: $143 billion

Source of Wealth: Alphabet (Google)

Larry Page, co-founder of Google and former CEO of its parent company Alphabet, maintains his position as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Although Page stepped down from his executive role at Alphabet in 2019, he remains a board member and controlling shareholder.

Google’s dominance in the search engine market and its expansive ecosystem of products and services, including Android, YouTube, and Google Cloud, continue to drive Alphabet’s success. The company’s investments in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other cutting-edge technologies position it at the forefront of technological innovation.

Page has also been investing in “flying car” companies and other futuristic transportation technologies through his company Kitty Hawk, showcasing his continued interest in transformative technologies beyond his work at Google.

7. Sergey Brin

Net Worth: $137 billion

Source of Wealth: Alphabet (Google)

Sergey Brin, the other co-founder of Google, closely follows his partner Larry Page in the wealth rankings. Like Page, Brin stepped down from his executive role at Alphabet but remains a significant shareholder and board member.

Brin’s wealth, primarily derived from his stake in Alphabet, has benefited from the company’s continued growth and dominance in the tech sector. He has been involved in various projects within Google X (now X Development), the company’s “moonshot factory” that works on ambitious, futuristic projects.

Outside of his work with Google, Brin has shown interest in space exploration and has reportedly invested in a high-altitude airship project. His philanthropic efforts, particularly in the field of Parkinson’s disease research, have also been notable.

8. Bill Gates

Net Worth: $129 billion

Source of Wealth: Microsoft, Investments

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and one of the most recognizable names in technology, continues to be among the world’s wealthiest individuals. Although he has stepped back from day-to-day operations at Microsoft, Gates remains a significant shareholder and advisor to the company.

In recent years, Gates has focused more on his philanthropic efforts through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to enhance healthcare, reduce extreme poverty, and expand educational opportunities and access to technology. The foundation’s work in global health, particularly in areas such as vaccine development and distribution, has been especially prominent.

Gates has also been a vocal advocate for climate change action and has invested in various clean energy technologies through Breakthrough Energy, a coalition of private investors he founded to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

9. Steve Ballmer

Net Worth: $123 billion

Source of Wealth: Microsoft

Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, has seen his wealth grow significantly in recent years. Ballmer’s fortune is largely tied to his substantial ownership stake in Microsoft, which he acquired during his long tenure with the company.

Under current CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has experienced a resurgence, with its cloud computing platform Azure and productivity suite Office 365 driving growth. This success has contributed to the appreciation of Ballmer’s Microsoft shares.

Beyond his involvement with Microsoft and the Clippers, Ballmer has engaged in philanthropic efforts through the Ballmer Group, focusing on improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States.

10. Warren Buffett

Net Worth: $120 billion

Source of Wealth: Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett, often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” rounds out the top 10 list. As the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has built his fortune through astute investments and acquisitions across various industries.

Berkshire Hathaway’s diverse portfolio includes significant stakes in companies such as Apple, Bank of America, and Coca-Cola, as well as full ownership of businesses like GEICO and Duracell. Buffett’s value investing approach and long-term perspective have been key to his sustained success.

In recent years, Buffett has been preparing Berkshire Hathaway for a future without him at the helm, with Greg Abel named as his eventual successor. Buffett has also been a prominent voice in discussions about wealth inequality and has pledged to give away the majority of his fortune to philanthropic causes through the Giving Pledge.

Related Articles

Back to top button