- The four richest men in the US – Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg – saw their collective net worth grow by $US229 billion in 2020.
- Amazon CEO Bezos is now worth $US183 billion, adding $US67.9 billion to his fortune over the course of 2020.
- Meanwhile, many Americans have struggled in 2020, with unemployment and food insecurity on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In a year when unemployment skyrocketed and food insecurity ballooned, the four richest men in the US got a lot richer.
The wealthiest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, saw his net worth grow by 59.1% through Dec. 13, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. Bezos is worth $US183 billion, adding $US67.9 billion to his fortune over the course of 2020.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk became the second-richest man in the world, with his net worth growing by a staggering 437% to $US148 billion. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates’ net worth was up 14%, while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s grew 32.3%.
The four billionaires saw their collective net worth rise by $US229 billion in 2020.
Billionaires’ net worth declined somewhat in late February and early March, and then reached record highs as coronavirus cases surged in the US.
Business Insider’s chart does not include some of the lowest lows and highest peaks billionaires’ net worths reached this year. Instead of tracking daily net worth estimates, we pulled billionaires’ net worth on the 1st and 15th of every month, since these men regularly gain or lose billions of dollars in a single day.
For example, Bezos’s net worth increased by $US67.9 billion. To put that into context, that is greater than the annual GDP for Costa Rica or Lithuania â€” looking only at growth this year.
Bezos’s rise has been driven by Amazon stock, with shares up more than 68% in 2020 as e-commerce sales skyrocket. Amazon has been criticised for profiting during the pandemic, with some saying the company has failed to adequately protect and reward frontline workers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s net worth increased by $US120 billion this year. At $US148 billion, Bloomberg notes that Musk’s current net worth is more than 2 million times the median US household income.
Musk’s net worth quintupled in 2020 as Tesla’s shares skyrocketed. The electric car maker is set to join the S&P 500 later in December.
Business Insider’s Juliana Kaplan reports that the 10 richest billionaires in the US are now collectively worth more than $US1 trillion.
“Never before has America seen such an accumulation of wealth in so few hands,” Frank Clemente, the executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, said in a statement.
“Their wealth growth is so great that they alone could provide a $US3,000 stimulus payment to every man, woman, and child in the country, and still be richer than they were nine months ago,” Clemente added.