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The 50 richest people in the world compared

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ENERGY.GOV // Wikimedia Commons

How the 50 richest people in the world compare to the wealth of countries

Most people cannot even imagine making a cool million in their lifetime, let alone sitting on billions of dollars. But for an elite portion of the world’s population, sprawling properties, fine art collections, and luxury yachts are just a way of life. We gathered data from Forbes’s World’s Billionaires list 2018 as well the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report 2017 to see how much money the world’s 50 richest people actually have. Next, to put things in perspective, the net worth of each person on the list was compared to the total wealth of different countries. Countries with the closest wealth to each billionaire were pulled to show how individual billionaires stack up against entire nations. Also included is the number of smaller countries that each person’s personal wealth eclipses.

The billionaires on the list have a combined wealth of $1.96 trillion, a number closest to the wealth of Russia ($1.89 trillion) with $73 billion left over. This is greater than the combined wealth of 191 countries. How did these people make their fortunes? And how are they spending their enormous fortunes? Some of them are truly self-made, while the majority inherited their money. Generally speaking, the more humble the beginning, the more generous the billionaire. Read on to find out more.

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Midea Group // Wikimedia Commons

#50. He Xiangjian

Net worth: $20.1 billion

Age: 76

Source of wealth: home appliances

Country of citizenship: China

Wealth equal to: Bermuda ($19.9B) and Mayotte ($0.1B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 89 countries.

One of the most generous billionaires in China had a humble start. He Xiangjian had only completed primary school when he took a chance and started a modest plastic bottle cap business with less than $1,000. It would go on to become Midea Group, one of China’s largest and most lucrative appliance-makers. Last year, He donated more than $1 billion to charity.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Theo Albrecht, Jr.

Net worth: $20.2 billion

Age: 67

Source of wealth: Aldi, Trader Joe's

Country of citizenship: Germany

Wealth equal to: Bermuda ($19.9B) and Sao Tome and Principe ($0.3B)

Wealthier than 89 countries.

Albrecht got his start from his father, who opened a small corner store in Essen, Germany in 1913, and expanded to build an empire of stores, including discount supermarket chain Aldi. Theo Sr. was kidnapped in 1971, leading Theo Jr. to keep an extremely low profile. He has given only one interview during his career, to address a feud over the family fortune.

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Mark Neyman // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Len Blavatnik

Net worth: $20.2 billion

Age: 61

Source of wealth: diversified

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Bermuda ($19.9B) and Sao Tome and Principe ($0.3B)

Wealthier than 89 countries.

Blavatnik was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and migrated to the United States in 1978. He made his fortune selling his stake in a Russian oil company for $7 billion in 2013, then bought Warner Music Group and invested in tech heavyweights Spotify and Beats. He is known throwing exclusive parties on yacht every year at the Cannes Film Festival, contributes generously to education causes, and founded the New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Awards, which recognize the potential of young scientists.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Thomas Peterffy

Net worth: $20.3 billion

Age: 74

Source of wealth: discount brokerage

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Bermuda ($19.9B) and Micronesia ($0.4B)

Wealthier than 89 countries.

Thomas Peterffy arrived in the United States from Hungary when he was 21, and made his fortune as a digital trading pioneer. Peterffy recently donated money to open a world-class healthcare center, but only the wealthy need apply: the center has an annual fee of $25,000.

 

 

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Dieter Schwarz

Net worth: $20.9 billion

Age: 79

Source of wealth: retail

Country of citizenship: Germany

Wealth equal to: Bermuda ($19.9B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 89 countries.

Dieter Schwarz is a German businessman, who inherited most of his fortune from his father, who founded the Schwarz Group in 1930. Today, the group owns the hypermarket chain Kaufland as well as the supermarket chain Lidl.

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Luck1112 // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Leonardo Del Vecchio

Net worth: $21.2 billion

Age: 83

Source of wealth: eyeglasses

Country of citizenship: Italy

Wealth equal to: Namibia ($21.2B) 

Wealthier than 90 countries.

Leonardo Del Vecchio is an Italian businessman who founded eyewear giant Luxottica in 1961, at the age of 25. At 14, Del Vecchio took an apprenticeship at an eyewear parts factory before going to design school. You can likely thank Del Vecchio for any of the stylish eyewear in your collection: Luxottica now owns Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, Ray-Ban, and Oakley.

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Miles Harris // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Paul Allen

Net worth: $21.7 billion

Age: 65

Source of wealth: Microsoft, investments

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Tanzania ($21.5B) and Mayotte ($0.1B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 91 countries.

Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates after dropping out of college. He resigned after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, and continued to pursue other business opportunities after his recovery. Allen now owns both the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. He is a renowned philanthropist, most famous for his interactive rock 'n' roll museum in Seattle, and the frequent loaning of his yacht for rescue missions and scientific explorations. 

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Ngsyatowuahg // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Yang Huiyan

Net worth: $21.9 billion

Age: 37

Source of wealth: real estate

Country of citizenship: China

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Mayotte ($0.1B)

Wealthier than 93 countries.

Yang Huiyan became the richest woman in China at the age of 26, when her father transferred his fortune from real estate developer Country Garden Holdings to her. She is known for being elusive and mysterious, taking great care to keep her private life out of the limelight. Yang chairs the Bright Scholar Education Holdings, the largest operator of international and bilingual K-12 schools in China.

 


 

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Simsalabimbam // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Stefan Quandt

Net worth: $22 billion

Age: 52

Source of wealth: BMW

Country of citizenship: Germany

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Mayotte ($0.1B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 93 countries.

Stefan Quandt, the son of Herbert Quandt—who saved BMW from bankruptcy in the 1960s—is now BMW’s largest single shareholder. He took the helm in 1997 from his mother, Johanna Quandt, who had a philanthropic streak.

 

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MEDEF // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Serge Dassault

Net worth: $22.6 billion

Age: 93

Source of wealth: diversified

Country of citizenship: France

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Tonga ($0.8B)

Wealthier than 93 countries.

French billionaire Serge Dassault, who died in 2018, was the son of Marcel Dassault, founder of Dassault Aviation. The company built propellers for aircraft used during World War I, and gradually rose to the top of the French aerospace engineering industry.






 

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Oracle PR // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Michael Dell

Net worth: $22.7 billion

Age: 53

Source of wealth: Technology

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Tonga ($0.8B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 93 countries.

Michael Dell started building computers in his college dorm room with just $1,000 to spend. He ended up dropping out of college at 19 to pursue the business full-time, and never looked back. He is now chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, and through the Dell Foundation has donated more than $1.5 billion to charities. 

 

 


 

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Masaru Kamikura // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Masayoshi Son

Net worth: $22.7 billion

Age: 61

Source of wealth: Internet, telecom

Country of citizenship: Japan

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Tonga ($0.8B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 93 countries.

Masayoshi Son is the president of SoftBank, a mobile telecom and investment firm. Son has an impressive philanthropic history, especially when it comes to environmental causes: he founded the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation, a non-profit that has made large gifts toward clean energy causes. He also donated an estimated $120 million towards disaster relief after the 2011 earthquake in Japan.

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Zoha Nve // Flickr

#37. Giovanni Ferrero

Net worth: $23 billion

Age: 54

Source of wealth: Chocolate

Country of citizenship: Italy

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B) with $300 million left over

Wealthier than 93 countries.

We can thank the Ferrero family for Nutella, Tic Tacs, Kinder, and of course, their confectionary namesake: Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Giovanni Ferrero is now at the helm of the family fortune, started when his great-grandfather, a confectioner, used hazelnut instead of chocolate to cut costs. Nutella was born, and the rest is history.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Dietrich Mateschitz

Net worth: $23 billion

Age: 74

Source of wealth: Red Bull

Country of citizenship: Austria

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B) with $300 million left over

Wealthier than 93 countries.

In 1987, this billionaire co-founded the company behind Red Bull energy drink, which has since gained world-wide popularity. Mateschitz is a sports fanatic, and owns stakes in a number of teams.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Joseph Safra

Net worth: $23.5 billion

Age: 79

Source of wealth: banking

Country of citizenship: Brazil

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and Antigua and Barbuda ($1.5B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 93 countries.

Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra is the world's richest banker, and owns 50% of banana-grower Chiquita Brands International. Safra has donated generously towards Jewish causes in Brazil. In 1999, the Safra family reportedly financed the building of the biggest temple in Brazil for Sao Paulo's Sephardic Jews of Spanish, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, and North African descent.
 

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Jacqueline Mars

Net worth: $23.6 billion

Age: 78

Source of wealth: Candy

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and St. Lucia ($1.8B)

Wealthier than 93 countries.

Jacqueline Mars owns approximately one-third of Mars, the world's largest candy manufacturer, which began with her grandfather making caramel in his home kitchen in 1911. She is a noted equestrian and owns a farm, specializing in organic farming and equine training. Mars has an impressive philanthropic history, focusing on education, environment, and the arts.
 

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#34. John Mars

Net worth: $23.6 billion

Age: 82

Source of wealth: candy, pet food

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Laos ($21.8B) and St. Lucia ($1.8B)

Wealthier than 93 countries.

John Mars owns another third of Mars, the world's largest candy manufacturer. Mars lives in Wyoming, where he donates generously to regional conservation work.
 

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Olaf Kosinsky // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Susanne Klatten

Net worth: $25 billion

Age: 56

Source of wealth: BMW, pharmaceuticals

Country of citizenship: Germany

Wealth equal to: Mongolia ($24.2B) and Tonga ($0.8B)

Wealthier than 95 countries.

Susanne Klatten is the sole owner of pharmaceutical company Altana Group, and owns 20% of automaker BMW. Klatten is known for maintaining privacy regarding the particulars of her fortune, as well as how she spends it.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#32. David Thomson

Net worth: $25 billion

Age: 61

Source of wealth: media

Country of citizenship: Canada

Wealth equal to: Mongolia ($24.2B) and Tonga ($0.8B)

Wealthier than 95 countries.

Thomson is the chairman of Thomson Reuters, the media empire started by his grandfather Roy Thompson. The 61-year old is a big hockey fan, and even owns the Winnipeg Jets through True North Sports and Entertainment.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Georg Schaeffler

Net worth: $25.3 billion

Age: 53

Source of wealth: auto parts

Country of citizenship: Germany

Wealth equal to: Mongolia ($24.2B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 95 countries.

This German billionaire co-owns Schaeffler Group, one of the world's largest producers of ball bearings and machine parts. Before taking over his father’s business, he served two years in the armed forces, reaching the rank of lieutenant.

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S. Plaine // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Francois Pinault

Net worth: $27 billion

Age: 82

Source of wealth: luxury goods

Country of citizenship: France

Wealth equal to: Mongolia ($24.2B) and Guyana ($2.5B) with $300 million left over

Wealthier than 95 countries.

This French billionaire founded the French luxury brands group Kering, which now owns fashion labels Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, and PUMA. Pinault’s good taste doesn’t stop with fashion—he also owns an extensive art collection, including pieces by Picasso and Koons.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Jorge Paulo Lemann

Net worth: $27.4 billion

Age: 79

Source of wealth: beer

Country of citizenship: Brazil

Wealth equal to: Mongolia ($24.2B) and Mauritania ($3B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 95 countries.

Before becoming a billionaire investor, Brazilian investor Jorge Paulo Lemann tried his hand at journalism and banking, and was even a five-time national tennis champion. Lemann studied at Harvard, and now stays connected to his alma mater by setting up scholarships for Brazilian students.

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Neon Tommy // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Phil Knight

Net worth: $29.6 billion

Age: 80

Source of wealth: Nike

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Cameroon ($29.4B) and Mayotte ($0.1B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 97 countries.

Knight created Nike—now the world’s biggest manufacturer of athletic shoes and sports apparel—with Bill Bowerman, his former track coach at the University of Oregon. This billionaire takes giving back to his alma maters seriously: in 2016, he pledged $500 million to the University of Oregon and $400 million to Stanford.

https://www.forbes.com/profile/phil-knight/#5b7a2f001dcb

 

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Danor Shtruzman // Flicr

#27. Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr.

Net worth: $29.8 billion

Age: 66

Source of wealth: supermarkets

Country of citizenship: Germany

Wealth equal to: Cameroon ($29.4B) and Micronesia ($0.4B)

Wealthier than 97 countries.

Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr. are the children of Karl Albrecht Sr., heirs to the Aldi retail fortune. Their father was a pioneer in the retail industry's discount revolution creating the German equivalent of Walmart.

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World Economic Forum // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Wang Jianlin

Net worth: $29.8 billion

Age: 66

Source of wealth: Retail

Country of citizenship: Germany

Wealth equal to: Cameroon ($29.4B) and Micronesia ($0.4B)

Wealthier than 97 countries.

Wang Jianlin served as an officer in the People's Liberation Army for 16 years before going into business in the 1980s. He now chairs Dalian Wanda Group, one of the biggest commercial real estate developers in the world. Wang donates frequently and generously to the beautification of public plazas and temples.

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Base64 // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Hui Ka Yan

Net worth: $30.3 billion

Age: 60

Source of wealth: real estate

Country of citizenship: China

Wealth equal to: Cameroon ($29.4B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B)

Wealthier than 97 countries.

This billionaire businessman is the chairman of Evergrande Group, a Chinese real estate developer. Hui topped the 2018 Forbes China Philanthropy List, donating to funds for poverty alleviation, as well as giving money towards scholarships for university students.

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Tksteven // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Lee Shau Kee

Net worth: $30.3 billion

Age: 90

Source of wealth: real estate

Country of citizenship: Hong Kong

Wealth equal to: Cameroon ($29.4B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B)

Wealthier than 97 countries.

This real estate tycoon grew up in a poor family that could only afford to eat meat twice a month. This may explain his extreme generosity, now that he is a billionaire. He has reportedly given more than $100 million to charity throughout his lifetime, mostly towards education and community causes.

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EdTech Stanford University School of Medicine //Wikimedia Commons

#23. Li Ka-shing

Net worth: $34.9 billion

Age: 90

Source of wealth: diversified

Country of citizenship: Hong Kong

Wealth equal to: Papua New Guinea ($33.8B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 101 countries.

Li started Cheung Kong plastics, named after the Yangtze River, when he was just 21 years old. He is now considered one of the most successful businessmen in Asia, and is set to retire this year to enjoy the fruits of his labour. His Li Ka Shing Foundation has donated more than $2.6 billion over the years, with most of it going back to China.
 

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Microsoft Sweden // Flickr

#22. Steve Ballmer

Net worth: $38.4 billion

Age: 62

Source of wealth: Technology

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: French Polynesia ($37.9B) and Marshall Islands ($0.5B)

Wealthier than 109 countries.

Ballmer’s decision to drop out of Stanford proved a savvy one, considering he did it to join forces with a young Bill Gates. Not surprisingly, today Ballmer is one of the richest people in the United States thanks to his career with Microsoft. When he retired, he bought the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.
 

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Bectrigger / Wikimedia Commons

#21. Sheldon Adelson

Net worth: $38.5 billion

Age: 85

Source of wealth: casinos

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: French Polynesia ($37.9B) and Marshall Islands ($0.5B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 109 countries.

Sheldon Adelson proves that it’s never too late to strike gold. The CEO and chairman of casino company Las Vegas Sands didn’t get into the gambling business until the age of 55. His eventual success must have been so much sweeter having grown up in a poor immigrant family in Boston. Adelson has given $410 million to Birthright Israel, the organization which funds trips to Israel for young Jewish adults.

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ITU Pictures // Flickr

#20. Jack Ma

Net worth: $39 billion

Age: 54

Source of wealth: e-commerce

Country of citizenship: China

Wealth equal to: French Polynesia ($37.9B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 109 countries.

Jack Ma is the founder of internet group Alibaba and currently China’s wealthiest entrepreneur. When Ma was a child, he would reportedly ride his bicycle to a local hotel to practice speaking English with tourists. Soon he began giving tours in his newly acquired language. Before making his billions, he worked for a few years as an English teacher at Hangzhou Dianzi University.

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World Economic Forum // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: $40.1 billion

Age: 61

Source of wealth: petrochemicals, oil & gas

Country of citizenship: India

Wealth equal to: Nepal ($40B) and Mayotte ($0.1B)

Wealthier than 111 countries.

Ambani's wealth comes from Reliance Industries, a conglomerate holding company based in Mumbai. Ambani is an avid cricket fan and is owner of the Indian Premier League cricket club Mumbai Indians.

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Peter1822 // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

Net worth: $42.2 billion

Age: 65

Source of wealth: Personal care and cosmetics

Country of citizenship: France

Wealth equal to: Malta ($41.3B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B)

Wealthier than 113 countries.

The heiress to the L’Oreal fortune is more arts-oriented than business-minded. The media-shy 65-year-old is known for playing piano for several hours a day and has written three books, including a voluminous study of the Bible and a genealogy of Greek gods.

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Ma Huateng

Net worth: $45.3 billion

Age: 47

Source of wealth: Digital media

Country of citizenship: China

Wealth equal to: Estonia ($44.9B) and Sao Tome and Principe ($0.3B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 119 countries.

Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, founded the Chinese Internet behemoth Tencent. Tencent's popular social messaging app, WeChat, has more than one billion users, and Ma claims he met his wife through it.
 

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Walmart // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Alice Walton

Net worth: $46 billion

Age: 68

Source of wealth: Retail

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Estonia ($44.9B) and Vanuatu ($0.9B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 119 countries.

Alice Walton is the only daughter of the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton. While her brothers decided to work for the iconic discount company after their father’s death, Alice chose to focus on curating art and riding horses. She has a personal art collection worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and recently paid $44.4 million for a Georgia O’Keefe painting.

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Gage Skidmore // Flickr

#15. S. Robson Walton

Net worth: $46.2 billion

Age: 73

Source of wealth: Retail

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Estonia ($44.9B) and Comoros ($1.3B)

Wealthier than 119 countries.

Rob Walton is the eldest son of Walmart founder, Sam Walton, and he took the helm of the company when his father died in 1992. He has a weakness for vintage cars and reportedly ran his $15 million Daytona Coupe off the tracks in 2013, totaling it.

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Walmart // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Jim Walton

Net worth: $46.4 billion

Age: 70

Source of wealth: Retail

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Estonia ($44.9B) and Antigua and Barbuda ($1.5B)

Wealthier than 119 countries.

Jim Walton is the youngest son of the Walmart family. He is chairman of the board of the family's Arvest Bank, and a generous political donor to the Republican party.

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James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media Inc. // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Sergey Brin

Net worth: $47.5 billion

Age: 45

Source of wealth: Google

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Estonia ($44.9B) and Guyana ($2.5B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 119 countries.

Brin co-founded the revolutionary search engine Google with his Stanford fellow student Larry Page in 1998. He now works as the president of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Brin and his ex-wife Anne Wojcicki have a charitable foundation with most of the funds going towards Parkinson’s research and alleviating poverty. 
 

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Stansfield PL // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Larry Page

Net worth: $48.8 billion

Age: 45

Source of wealth: Google

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Estonia ($44.9B) and Timor-Leste ($3.8B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 119 countries.

Part of the brainy duo that launched Google back in 1998, Page is now CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. He is a generous donor, who gives primarily to educational, social, and health causes, but ultimately claims that innovative companies, not charities, are the key to improving the world.

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Center for American Progress // Flickr

#11. Michael Bloomberg

Net worth: $50 billion

Age: 76

Source of wealth: Bloomberg LP

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Estonia ($44.9B) and Somalia ($5.1B)

Wealthier than 119 countries.

Michael Bloomberg is CEO of world renowned financial information and media company Bloomberg. Over the years, he has donated more than $5 billion to gun control, climate change research, and other causes. The billionaire owns at least six homes, including houses in Bermuda and London.
 

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Oracle PR // Flickr

#10. Larry Ellison

Net worth: $58.5 billion

Age: 74

Source of wealth: software

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Georgia ($57.3B) and Sierra Leone ($1.2B)

Wealthier than 123 countries.

Ellison co-founded the international software firm Oracle. The fun-loving jet-setter has expensive tastes, including yachting and buying Hawaiian islands, but he also gives generously. In May 2016, Ellison pledged $200 million to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment center.
 

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Danor Shtruzman // Flickr

#8. Charles Koch

Net worth: $60 billion

Age: 82

Source of wealth: Koch Industries

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Georgia ($57.3B) and Guyana ($2.5B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 123 countries.

Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch Industries, America's second-largest private company. The quiet intellectual has used his wealth to fund a number of think tanks, including the libertarian Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute.

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Gage Skidmore // Flickr

#8. David Koch

Net worth: $60 billion

Age: 78

Source of wealth: Koch Industries

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Georgia ($57.3B) and Guyana ($2.5B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 123 countries.

David Koch shares majority control of Koch Industries alongside his brother, Charles. A well-known philanthropist, David is a donor to New York's Lincoln Center, and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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Barrett90035 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Carlos Slim Helu

Net worth: $67.1 billion

Age: 78

Source of wealth: telecom

Country of citizenship: Mexico

Wealth equal to: Lithuania ($63.7B) and Mauritania ($3B) with $400 million left over

Wealthier than 127 countries.

Carlos Slim Helu controls America Movil, Latin America's biggest mobile telecom firm. The 78- year-old tycoon doesn’t believe in philanthropic handouts, so instead he launched Aprende.org, a free educational platform that anyone with a smartphone can access.
 

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Danor Shtruzman // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Amancio Ortega

Net worth: $70 billion

Age: 82

Source of wealth: Zara

Country of citizenship: Spain

Wealth equal to: Jordan ($68.3B) and Maldives ($1.7B)

Wealthier than 130 countries.

Ortega cofounded Inditex, best-known for its fashion chain, Zara. Though the fashion mogul invests most of his wealth in real estate, he also started the Paideia Foundation, which helps people with mental and physical disabilities access education and training.

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Brian Solis // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Mark Zuckerberg

Net worth: $71 billion

Age: 34

Source of wealth: Facebook

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Jordan ($68.3B) and Guyana ($2.5B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 130 countries.

Zuckerberg is the co-founder and CEO of the world’s most popular social networking site, Facebook. He is one of the world’s youngest billionaires, and has come under fire in the last year after it was discovered that Facebook was sharing users' data with dozens of major companies. Love him or hate him, nobody can argue his philanthropic streak. In 2015, he and wife Priscilla Chan started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and they've pledged to give away 99% of Facebook's earnings over the course of their lifetimes.

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Jérémy Barande // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Bernard Arnault

Net worth: $72 billion

Age: 69

Source of wealth: LVMH

Country of citizenship: France

Wealth equal to: Jordan ($68.3B) and Virgin Islands (U.S.) ($3.7B)

Wealthier than 130 countries.

Bernard Arnault is the French CEO of LVMH, a luxury goods company that owns 70 high-end brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. Arnault’s eye for beautiful things extends beyond his business and into his philanthropy. He is the generous patron behind the $135 million Frank Gehry-designed Foundation Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris' Bois de Boulogne.
 

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freeimage4life // Flickr

#3. Warren Buffett

Net worth: $84 billion

Age: 88

Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Jordan ($68.3B) and Andorra ($14.6B) with $1,100 million left over

Wealthier than 130 countries.

Warren Buffet runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including Duracell and Dairy Queen. He is known as one of the most successful investors of all time, and has pledged to give away more than 99% of his fortune. So far he's donated $35 billion, mostly to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

 



 

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ENERGY.GOV // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Bill Gates

Net worth: $90 billion

Age: 62

Source of wealth: Microsoft

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Croatia ($86.4B) and Seychelles ($3.5B) with $100 million left over

Wealthier than 131 countries.

Is there anything Bill Gates doesn’t do? The second-wealthiest person in the world is a wildly successful investor, author, humanitarian, and philanthropist. He made his billions after starting Microsoft with Stanford classmate Paul Allen. Gates has funneled most of his wealth into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation.

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Steve Jurvetson // Flickr

#1. Jeff Bezos

Net worth: $112 billion

Age: 54

Source of wealth: Amazon

Country of citizenship: United States

Wealth equal to: Slovenia ($105.5B) and Monaco ($6.3B) with $200 million left over

Wealthier than 139 countries.

Bezos founded Amazon, the e-commerce site that changed the way the world shops. The richest man in the world is passionate about space travel. His aerospace company, Blue Origin, is developing a reusable rocket that Bezos says will carry passengers to the moon and beyond. Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post, which he bought in 2013 for $250 million.
 

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