The rich keep getting richer — here are the billionaires who made the most billions in a single year

  • Billionaires keep growing their billions.
  • With a record number of billionaires around the world, we calculated just how much the world’s richest billionaires earned in a single year.
  • According to our calculations, Bill Gates earned $US4 billion, making him the lowest-earning billionaire on the list – nothing compared to Jeff Bezos‘ annual earnings of nearly $US40 billion.

The rich keep getting richer. If there’s one thing that can be said for billionaires, it’s that they know how to grow their wealth.

According to Wealth-X’s 2018 Billionaire Census, there are a record number of billionaires around the world, and their wealth has increased by 24% since last year – another record number.

Business Insider looked at how much the world’s richest billionaires earned in the past year. To determine each billionaire’s annual earnings, we calculated the difference between their 2017 and 2018 net worths for the top 50 richest billionaires, as provided by the Forbes’ 2017 and 2018 richest people in the world lists, published every March. We then narrowed the rankings down to the top 30 billionaires who made the most money in the past year.

We didn’t include Francois Bettencourt and Giovanni Ferrero because they inherited their billions in the last year.

The lowest-earning billionaire on the list, Bill Gates, earned $US4 billion. While that’s far from a measly number, it doesn’t compare to the nearly $US40 billion Jeff Bezos earned in the past year.

Below, see how many billions some of the world’s richest billionaires earned in a single year.


30. Bill Gates, $US4 billion

Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 2


29. Susanne Klatten, $US4.6 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 32


28. Georg Schaeffler, $US4.6 billion

Michael Probst/AP Photos

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 31


27. Lee Shau Kee, $US5.9 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 24


26. Larry Ellison, $US6.3 billion

Kimberly White/Getty Images

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 10


25. Thomas Peterffy, $US6.5 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 47


24. Serge Dassault, $US6.5 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 41


23. Sergey Brin, $US7.7 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 13


22. He Xiangjian, $US7.8 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 50


21. Lui Che Woo, $US8 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 50


20. Larry Page, $US8.1 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 12


19. Sheldon Adelson, $US8.1 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 21


18. Steve Ballmer, $US8.4 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 22


17. Warren Buffett, $US8.4 billion

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 3


16. Dietrich Mateschitz, $US9.6 billion

Charles Coates/Getty Images

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 37


15. Jack Ma, $US10.7 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 20


14. Francois Pinault, $US11.3 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 30


13. David Koch, $US11.7 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 8


12. Charles Koch, $US11.7 billion

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 8


11. Rob Walton, $US12.1 billion

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 15


10. Alice Walton, $US12.2

D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 16


9. Jim Walton, $US12.4 billion

Rick T. Wilking /Stringer/Getty

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 14


8. Carlos Slim Helu, $US12.6 billion

Kimberly White/Getty Images

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 8


7. Yang Huiyan, $US12.9 billion

Wealth-X; Country Garden Danga Bay/Facebook; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 43


6. Mark Zuckerberg, $US15 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 5


5. Mukesh Ambani, $US16.9 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 19


4. Hui Ka Yan, $US20.1 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 24


3. Ma Huateng, $US20.4 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 17


2. Bernard Arnault, $US20.5 million

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 4


1. Jeff Bezos, $US39.2 billion

Current Forbes billionaires rank: 1

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