The Five Richest Men Have Doubled Their Wealth Since 2020

The five richest men in the world are now twice as rich; good news for billionaires, bad news for everyone else.

Elon Musk holds a glass of wine.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It may be hard to believe, but the five richest men in the world just got a lot richer. The wealthiest of the wealthy have more than doubled their fortunes to $869 billion in 2024 from $405 billion in 2020, a 114% increase, a new study shows. 

Not only have the five richest growth their net worth to a number inching closer to $1 trillion, but billionaires in general are $3.3 trillion richer than in 2020, with their wealth growing three times faster than the rate of inflation. The report was compiled by OxFam, using data from Forbes.

That surge in funds is good news for the billionaires, but bad news for everyone else. If the wealth of billionaire’s continues growing at its current rate, we could see the world’s first trillionaire in 10 years. Meanwhile, the wealth of the poorest 60%, which equates to almost five billion people, has fallen since that time. If trends continue, it will take 230 years to end poverty. The study also finds that out of over 1,600 of the world’s largest and most influential companies, only 0.4% are committed to paying their workers a living wage and support payment of a living wage in their value chains.

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“It would take 1,200 years for a female worker in the health and social sector to earn what a CEO in the biggest Fortune 100 companies earns on average in one year,” the report states. 

In order to further address the widening gap between rich and poor, Oxfam published the report to coincide with the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where the world’s political and business elites gather to discuss pressing issues and global priorities of the year. 

So who is the richest person in the world, and how much money do they have? To determine the top five wealthiest men, Oxfam used calculations from Forbes as of November 2023.  

Who are the five richest men in the world?

1. Elon Musk

Net worth: $245.5 billion, up 737% from 2020

2. Bernard Arnault

Net worth: $191.3 billion, up 111% from 2020

3. Jeff Bezos 

Net worth: $167.4 billion, up 24% from 2020

4. Larry Ellison

Net worth: $145.5 billion, up 107% from 2020

5. Warren Buffett

Net worth: $119.2 billion, up 48% from 2020

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.