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Taylor Swift Strikes a Billion Chord: Forbes' List Unveils the World's Wealthiest

Collective wealth of the world's billionaires surged by $2 trillion in the span of 2023 alone

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 3, 2024, 11:51:41

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Taylor Swift, Billionaires, Forbes

Billionaires are amassing wealth at an unprecedented rate, as indicated by Forbes' yearly assessment of the world's richest individuals, revealing a combined net worth of $14.2 trillion (£11.3bn) among this elite group.

Forbes' latest report unveils a record-breaking count of 2,781 individuals possessing fortunes surpassing $1 billion, marking a significant surge from previous years. This annual compilation, initiated in 1987, highlights the staggering wealth accumulation within this exclusive cohort.

In the 2024 listing, 265 newcomers made their debut, including notable figures such as pop icon Taylor Swift, renowned fashion designer Christian Louboutin and Sam Altman, the visionary behind ChatGPT's developer, OpenAI.

The collective wealth of the world's billionaires surged by $2 trillion in the span of 2023 alone. However, this exponential growth has ushered in a new hierarchy within the top one per cent.

A staggering 14 individuals now boast fortunes exceeding $100 billion, with the twenty wealthiest individuals witnessing a combined wealth escalation of $700 billion in the past year alone. Notably, the top 0.5 per cent of billionaires now command 14 per cent of the entire group's wealth.

Leading the pack for the second consecutive year is Bernard Arnault, the esteemed French magnate at the helm of LVMH, with an estimated fortune of $233 billion. Elon Musk follows closely behind with a net worth of $195 billion, trailed by Jeff Bezos at $194 billion and Mark Zuckerberg at $177 billion.

The United States continues to dominate in billionaire residency, followed closely by China. Despite experiencing a decline of 125 Chinese billionaires, largely attributed to sluggish consumer spending and a collapse in the property market, China maintains its position as the world's second-largest economy.

Conversely, the US has widened its lead over China, with a notable increase in ultra-rich individuals. Presently, the US harbours 813 billionaires boasting a collective wealth of $5.7 trillion, while China claims 406 billionaires with a combined net worth of $1.3 trillion.

In Britain, 55 billionaires call it home. Among them, Gymshark founder Ben Francis, aged 31, stands as the youngest, with a current estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. However, no new British entrants joined the Forbes ranking in 2024.

Chase Peterson-Withorn, a senior editor at Forbes, remarked, "It's been an extraordinary year for the world's wealthiest, with an unprecedented surge in billionaires worldwide. Even amid economic uncertainty for many, the super-rich continue to prosper."

Contrarily, Luke Hildyard, executive director for the High Pay Centre, voiced concern, stating, "The billionaire list underscores the disproportionate accumulation of wealth by a select few, rather than its equitable distribution for the betterment of humanity. Rectifying this wealth disparity should be a paramount objective in the years to come."

India Adds 25 New Billionaires

India added 25 new billionaires this year, increasing the total number of billionaires in the country to 200 as compared to 169 last year, according to the Forbeslist.

The combined wealth of these Indians stands at $954 billion, which is 41 per cent higher as compared with $675 billion last year.

Among Indians, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) CMD Mukesh Ambani topped the billionaires’ list with a total networth of $116 billion, followed by Gautam Adani ($84 billion), Shiv Nadar ($36.9 billion), Savitri Jindal & Family ($33.5 billion), and Dilip Shanghvi ($26.7 billion).

Mukesh Ambani is the only Indian in the top-10 list, at 9th rank globally.

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