The wealth of the 500 richest people in the world grew by an astronomic 25% in 2019. Here are the billionaires who made the most money this year.

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Bill Gates, MacKenzie Bezos, and Bernard Arnault each added more than $US20 billion to their net worths in 2019. REUTERS/Toru Hanai; Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; REUTERS/Stephane Mahe; Taylor Borden/Business Insider

The world’s 500 richest people grew their collective net worths 25% in 2019 – but some billionaires benefitted more than others.

Billionaires who made their fortunes from tech and luxury goods led the pack. Increased demand for luxury goods in China grew the fortunes of Francois Pinault, Bernard Arnault, and Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. Microsoft’s stock surge made two of the software developer’s largest shareholders over $US10 billion each in 2019. Facebook also saw massive growth in 2019, despite a never ending stream of negative headlines about its handling of political advertising and hate speech.

Keep reading to learn which billionaires made the most money in 2019.


12. Francois Pinault

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Francois Pinault’s family owns a 41% stake in the owner of Gucci and Yves St. Laurent. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Net worth: $US42.0 billion

2019 gain: $US12.08 billion

Like other French luxury magnates, Francois Pinault saw his net worth grow substantially in 2019 amid increasing Chinese demand for luxury goods. Pinault’s fortune stems from his family’s 41% stake in Gucci and Yves St. Laurent owner Kering, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


11. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

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L’Oreal cosmetics fortune heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, a board member of the leading world cosmetics group. Francois Mori/AP

Net worth: $US59.3 billion

2019 gain: $US13.1 billion

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers became the richest woman in the world when she inherited a third of L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company, after her mother died in September 2017, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Shares of L’Oréal are up 30.8% in 2019 so far, Markets Insider data shows.


10. Sergey Brin

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Sergey Brin. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Net worth: $US63.3 billion

2019 gain: $US13.4 billion

Google cofounder Sergey Brin may have stepped down from his role as Alphabet’s president, but his net worth still benefitted from the company’s rising share price in 2019.


9. Larry Page

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Larry Page. Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Net worth: $US65.2 billion

2019 gain: $US14.0 billion

The former CEO of Alphabet and cofounder of Google is the world’s 10th richest person with a net worth of $US65.2 billion, Bloomberg estimates.


8. Mukesh Ambani

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Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in India in 2019, for the 12th year in a row. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Net worth: $US59.5 billion

2019 gain: $US15.2 billion

Business tycoon Mukesh Ambani is India’s richest man and the patriarch of Asia’s richest family, Business Insider’s Katie Warren previously reported. Ambani’s stake in oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries helped him add over $US15 billion to his net worth in 2019, while more than half of India’s richest people took hits to their net worth during the same time period.


7. Amancio Ortega

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Amancio Ortega (R) and Pablo Isla (L) attend during CSI Casas Novas Horse Jumping Competition on July 29, 2017 in A Coruna, Spain. fotopress/Getty Images

Net worth: $US76.6 billion

2019 gain: $US17.9 billion

Amancio Ortega built his multibillion-dollar fortune running retail conglomerate Inditex, Zara’s parent company, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Inditex saw record sales in the first half of 2019, up 7% from the same period last year,Markets Insider previously reported.


6. Steve Ballmer

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Steve Ballmer cheers courtside at Clippers games. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Net worth: $US58.5 billion

2019 gain: $US19.9 billion

Former Microsoft CEO and LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer made nearly $US20 billion in 2019, as the software giant increased its dividend, launched a $US40 billion share-buyback program, and saw its share price hit record highs as its cloud computing business grows.


5. Bill Gates

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Bill Gates. CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Net worth: $US113 billion

2019 gain: $US23.1 billion

Bill Gates also benefitted from Microsoft’s stock surge, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows. Gates even briefly dethroned Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man, Business Insider previously reported.


4. Mark Zuckerberg

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Getty

Net worth: $US79.4 billion

2019 gain: $US27.4 billion

Facebook spent much of 2019 battling negative headlines about its political advertising, poor monitoring of hate speech, and market dominance, but that didn’t stop the social network from making money. The value of Facebook shares jumped 45% in 2019 – and as the company’s largest shareholder, Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest beneficiary, according to Markets Insider.


3. MacKenzie Bezos

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MacKenzie Bezos. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Net worth: $US37.5 billion

2019 gain: $US37.5 billion

MacKenzie Bezos became one of the richest women in the world following her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in July. MacKenzie announced in a Twitter statement that she’d retained 25% of the former couple’s Amazon shares, while Jeff will keep 75% along with voting control of the shares she now holds.


2. Bernard Arnault

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Bernard Arnault. Reuters

Net worth: $US106 billion

2019 gain: $US37.7 billion

In March, the French billionaire overtook Warren Buffett to become the third-richest person in the world, Bloomberg reported. A few months later, he surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person for a brief period before dropping back to third. And in October, Arnault made $US5.1 billion within 48 hours after a surge in share prices of his luxury conglomerate LVMH. Arnault even spent a few hours as the world’s richest person on December 16, Forbes reported.

Arnault now has a net worth of $US106 billion, Bloomberg estimates, making the French businessman is the third-richest person in the world and the richest person in the fashion industry.


1. Julia Flesher Koch

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Julia M. Flesher Koch attends the School of American Ballet 2014 Winter Ball at David Koch Theatre at Lincoln Centre on March 3, 2014 in New York City. Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

Net worth: $US62.1 billion

2019 gain: $US62.1 billion

Julia Flesher Koch took the No. 9 spot on Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index that once belonged to her husband, conservative megadonor David Koch, following his death in August. The stake in industrial giant Koch Industries she and her three children inherited from her husband gives her a net worth of $US62.1 billion, Bloomberg estimates.