It’s true what they say: the rich do keep on getting richer. Over the past decade, the net worth of the current ten richest people in the world has increased by over $400 billion, rising from $257.9 billion in 2010 to $686.4 billion now. That represents a 266% increase, compared to an increase in global wealth of 180% over the same period. This decade has also seen the total number of billionaires double, illustrating an ever-widening gap between rich and poor. According to data taken from Forbes’ 2020 rankings, this is how much richer the world’s top ten billionaires have gotten.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos tops the 2020 ranking for the third year in a row, at a net worth of $200 billion. He was worth $12.3 in 2010, marking a staggering increase in 10 years. Bezos started the multinational giant Amazon, initially an online bookstore, in his garage in 1994. He also owns The Washington Post newspaper and invests in space technology.
Bill Gates has been featured on Forbes’ list for over 20 years. His wealth is currently valued at $98 billion, nearly double the $53 billion he was worth in 2010. The founder of Microsoft currently owns just 1% of the company and has chosen to focus primarily on his philanthropic work. He currently co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the world’s largest charitable foundation.
Less of a household name than Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, Bernard Arnault is the wealthiest European to make the list. French businessman Arnault oversees the luxury goods conglomerate LMHV, including brands like Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Tiffany & Co. Arnault’s wealth in 2020 is valued at $76 billion, up from $27.5 billion in 2010.
Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” inventor Warren Buffett is valued at $67.5 billion, up from $47 billion in 2010. Buffett is the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns over 60 companies, including Dairy Queen and Geico. He is also a passionate philanthropist and has pledged to give away over 99% of his fortune.
Larry Ellison is the co-founder of the software firm Oracle. Ellison stepped down from his role as CEO of Oracle in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer. Ellison’s net worth in 2020 is $59 billion, which is $31 billion more than the $28 billion he was worth in 2010.
The second European on the list, Amancio Ortega is the richest clothing retailer in the world. The Spanish businessman co-founded Inditex, known for the fashion brand Zara. Ortega stepped down as chairman of Inditex in 2011, but still owns over 50% of its shares. His 2020 net worth is $55.1 billion, up from $25 billion in 2010.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is over 13 times richer in 2020 than he was in 2010. Zuckerberg, who created Facebook when he was just 19-years-old, is worth $54.7 billion in 2020. This is up from $4 billion in 2010, which placed Zuckerberg 212th on Forbes’ list. In 2015, Zuckerberg established the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to focus on scientific research, education, and political advocacy.
The children of Walmart founder Sam Walton round out the last three spots in the top ten list. Jim Walton, the youngest son of Sam Walton, is the wealthiest of the Walton siblings with a net worth of $54.6 billion, up from $20.7 billion in 2010. Jim Walton sat on the Walmart board until 2016, when he gave up his seat to his son, Steuart.
The only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, Alice Walton is the richest woman in the world and the only woman to make the top ten. Alice Walton curates art, and in 2011 opened the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Her current net worth of $54.4 billion is up from $20.6 billion in 2010.
Rob Walton, Sam Walton's oldest son, took over from his father as Walmart chairman from 1992 until 2015. Collectively, Sam Walton’s heirs own around half of Walmart’s stock, with Rob Walton's net worth being valued at $54.1 billion. He was the third richest Walton sibling in 2010 as well as today, with a 2010 net worth of $19.8 billion.