These are the 50 richest people in the world right now

  • We put together a list of the world’s richest people of 2019, using up-to-minute data from Bloomberg.
  • The majority of the billionaires on the list are self-made billionaires who built business empires in tech, finance, fashion, and sports.
  • A few of the billionaires inherited stakes in their family’s companies.

There’s rich. And then there’s world’s richest people rich.

To make it into the latter group, you now need a net worth of at least $US17 billion.

Using the calculations from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, we put together a list of the 50 richest people in the world. Bloomberg updates its data at the close of every trading day in New York, and our list is based on the latest data available for January 4, 2019.

Since Bloomberg News doesn’t report on Bloomberg LP, we added Michael Bloomberg (No. 14) using his estimated net worth from Forbes.

The majority of the billionaires on the list are self-starters who built business empires in tech, finance, fashion, and sports. A few inherited stakes in their family’s companies.

From tech tycoons to luxury car heiresses, here are the 50richest people on earth.


50. Azim Premji

Azim Prenji is currently the second richest person in India. Most often known as the czar of India’s information technology industry,

Prenji took over his father’s cooking oil manufacturing company Wipro and diversified it into everything from bakery fats to toiletries, hair care, and lighting products. In the 1980s, he expanded to manufacturing computers and subsequently shifted to software.

Net worth: $US17 billion

Age: 73

Citizenship: India

Industry: Information Technology

Source of wealth: Inherited; Wipro


49. Donald Bren

In 1958, Bren founded the Bren Company and began building homes in California. In the 1960s, he developed the city of Mission Viejo, California and eventually purchased the 146-year-old Irvine Company.

The Los Angeles Times has said that “Orange County looks like Orange County … because of the influence of” Bren. It is estimated that he is the wealthiest real estate developer in the US.

Net worth: $US17.2 billion

Age: 86

Citizenship: USA

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made, Irvine Company


48. Laurene Powell Jobs

JStone/Shutterstock

While Lauren Powell Jobs is a successful businesswoman in her own right, most of her wealth was inherited from her late husband, Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Powell Jobs runs the Emerson Collective, a social justice advocacy group, co-founded College Track, an organisation that helps disadvantaged high school students prepare for college, co-founded Terravera, a natural foods company, and owns stakes in the ownership group of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals.

Net worth: $US17.3 billion

Age: 55

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Inherited


47. Alexey Mordashov

Alexey Mordashov is a Russian oligarch who built his fortune as steel company Severstal’s majority shareholder. He was the company’s CEO for 19 years until 2015. He also has stakes in mining, media, banking, telecom, and, recently, technology.

Net worth: $US17.5 billion

Age: 53

Citizenship: Russian Federation

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made


46. Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn is most famous as a hedge fund manager, investor, and “corporate raider,” engaging in hostile takeovers and asset-stripping of in-distress companies. He began his career as a stockbroker in the 1960s.

Icahn is the founder of Icahn Enterprises, a holding company, and has most famously invested in Netflix, Apple, Lyft, and Paypal.

Net worth: $US17.8 billion

Age: 82

Citizenship: USA

Industry: Wall Street

Source of wealth: Self-made


45. Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch is an Austrlian media magnate who made his fortune owning newspapers throughout Austrlia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Eventually, he expanded to the US and formed television and film divisions under the name Fox and Twentieth Century Fox. News Corp, Murdoch’s primary company, owns more than 800 companies in over 50 countries.

He is currently the acting CEO of Fox News after CEO Roger Ailes resigned due to accusations of sexual harrassment.

Net worth: $US17.8 billion

Age: 87

Citizenship: Australia

Industry: Media

Source of wealth: Inherited; self-made, News Corp


44. Vladimir Lisin

Vladimir Lisin started his career in the Soviet Union as a mechanic and then engineer in Russia’s metallurgy industry. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lisin was part of a group that took control of Russia’s steel and aluminium industries.

He is now the sole owner of Novolipetsk Steel, one of the largest steel companies in Russia, and has business interests in shipping, logistics, energy, and utilities.

Net worth: $US18 billion

Age: 73

Citizenship: Russian Federation

Industry: Steel

Source of wealth: Self-made


43. Len Blavatnik

David M. Benett/Getty Images

Soviet-born American Len Blavatnik founded Access Industries in 1986. It began with only Russian investments, but now includes a diverse portfolio. He purchased a 20% stake in Tory Burch, now a retail powerhouse, in 2004, becoming the first and largest outside investor in the company.

Net worth: $US18.3 billion

Age: 61

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; Access Industries


42. and 41. Gerard and Alain Wertheimer

Getty/StringerAlain Wertheimer (right), pictured with Queen Elizabeth II (left), and Wertheimer’s brother Gerard (centre).

Gerard and Alain Wertheimer are the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, the co-founder of the House of Chanel perfume company. Together, they now control Chanel as well as own French vineyards and a horse-racing stable.

Net worth: $US18.3 billion, 18.3 billion

Age: 67, 70

Citizenship: France

Industry: Fashion

Source of wealth: Inherited


40. Susanne Klatten

Susanne Klatten inherited a stake in Bayerische Motoren Werke, which owns BMW and Rolls-Royce.

Net worth: $US19.2 billion

Age: 56

Citizenship: Germany

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Inherited; BMW


39. Leonid Mikhelson

Leonid Mikhelson started his career in the Soviet Union as an engineer in Siberia, working his way up to general director of Kuibishevtruboprovodstroy, one of the first companies to be privatised after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The company was renamed NOVA.

Mikhelson became general director of NOVA’s holding company, NOVATEK, and now owns 25% of the company. He also owns a majority stake in SIBUR, a gas company, and is a major patron of Russian and contemporary art.

Net worth: $US19.5 billion

Age: 63

Citizenship: Russian Federation

Industry: Steel

Source of wealth: Self-made


38. Jorge Paulo Lemann

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jorge Lemann worked as a journalist and professional tennis player before jumping into finance in 1971. He co-founded 3G Capital in 2004, and has become known for his affinity for merges and acquisitions.

Net worth: $US19.7 billion

Age: 79

Citizenship: Brazil

Industry: Food and beverage

Source of wealth: Self-made; 3G Capital


37. Vladimir Potanin

Vladimir Potanin started his private investment company Interros in the early 1990s, which is invested in mining, metals, energy, finance, and real estate. Interros owns 30% of the Russian nickel company Norilsk Nickel.

Potanin has served as the President of the United Export Import Bank, the first Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and currently heads the National Council on Corporate Governance.

Net worth: $US19.8 billion

Age: 58

Citizenship: Russian Federation

Industry: Nickel

Source of wealth: Self-made


36. Michael Dell

Michael Dell started PC Ltd., the predecessor to Dell Inc., while he was a premed student in 1984. He dropped out of college to build computers full time, and the company went public by the time he was 23.

Net worth: $US20.1 billion

Age: 53

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dell


35. Leonardo del Vecchio

Leonardo del Vecchio started Luxottica, the eyewear powerhouse, in 1961 in Milan. It owns Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, and Oakley, and manufacturers glasses for a large number of luxury brands.

Net worth: $US20.2 billion

Age: 83

Citizenship: Italy

Industry: Consumer goods

Source of wealth: Self-made; Luxottica Group


34. Pallonji Mistry

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Pallonji Mistry is the billionaire chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, a construction company started by his father who built many landmarks in Mumbai.

Mistry owns nearly a 20% stake in the Tata Sons, which owns India’s largest private conglomerate Tata Group. Tata Group’s companies include Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, as well companies across tea, communications, and hospitality industries.

Net worth: $US20.4 billion

Age: 90

Citizenship: Irish (previously Indian)

Industry: Construction

Source of wealth: Inherited; Tata Group


33. Lee Shau Kee

Lee Shau Kee founded Henderson Land Development, which grew into a top real-estate developer in Hong Kong and China, in 1973.

Net worth: $US21 billion

Age: 90

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Henderson Land Development


32. Giovanni Ferrero

Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Giovanni Ferroro controls Ferrero SpA, which makes Ferrero chocolates, Nutella, Kinder chocolates, and Tic Tacs.

Net worth: $US22.2 billion

Age: 53

Citizenship: Italy

Industry: Food and beverage

Source of wealth: Inherited; Ferrero Group


31. Dieter Schwarz

Dieter Schwarz joined his father’s business in 1973 and soon opened the company’s first discount supermarket. After his father died, he took over as CEO and expanded the business outside of Germany. The company operates Lidl, a grocery-store chain, and Kaufland, which is similar to Walmart.

Net worth: $US22.2 billion

Age: 79

Citizenship: Germany

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; Schwarz Gruppe


30. Elon Musk

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla, which makes electric cars. He’s also the CEO of SpaceX and founded the BOring Companby, OpenAI, and Neuralink.

Net worth: $US22.8 billion

Age: 47

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made


29. Tadashi Yanai

Tadashi Yanai is the the founder and president of Fast Retailing, which owns retailer Uniqlo.

Net worth: $US27 billion

Age: 69

Citizenship: Japan

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made


28. Li Ka-Shing

Li Ka-shing dropped out of school at 16 to support his family by working in a factory making plastic flowers. He opened his own factory six years later – the predecessor to today’s CK Hutchinson Holdings, which has interests in real estate, energy, and telecoms.

Net worth: $US27.8 billion

Age: 90

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; CK Hutchinson Holdings


27. Francois Pinault

Francois Pinault founded luxury goods group Kering, which controls Gucci and Puma, among others.

Net worth: $US27.9 billion

Age: 82

Citizenship: France

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth: Self-made; Kering


26. Phil Knight

Back in the 1960s, Phil Knight started a company that distributed Japanese sneakers in the US under the name Blue Ribbon Sports – which was the predecessor to Nike. He transformed a passion for running into a full blown sneaker and celebrity athletes empire.

Net worth: $US28.7 billion

Age: 80

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth: Self-made; Nike


25. Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson and partners developed Computer Dealer’s Exhibition (COMDEX), one of the largest trade shows in Las Vegas. He sold the company to Japan’s Softbank for $US860 million in 1995, and used the money to finance his purchase of the Sands Casino. He demolished that, and built the Venetian Casino Resort and the Sands Expo Convention Center in its place. In 2015, he bought Nevada’s largest newspaper.

Net worth: $US29.4 billion

Age: 85

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Entertainment/Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Las Vegas Sands


24. Hui Ka Yan

Hui chairs China Evergrande Group, a property developer that has worked on hundreds of projects across nearly 200 cities in China.

Net worth: $US29.8 billion

Age: 59

Citizenship: China

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; China Evergrande Group


23. Pony Ma

Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, founded Tencent Holdings, which has a number of Internet and communication platforms in its portfolio, in 1998 when he was 26. Among others, its platforms include WeChat and QQ.

Net worth: $US31.4 billion

Age: 47

Citizenship: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Tencent Holdings


22. and 21. John Mars and Jacqueline Mars

John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Siblings John, Jacqueline, and the late-Forrest Mars inherited a stake in Mars, Inc. after their father died in 1999. The siblings are notoriously private, and don’t actively manage the candy maker company. But they do run the Mars Foundation, which gives primarily to educational, environmental, cultural, and health-related causes.

Net worth: $US32.9 billion each

Age: 83, 79

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Food and beverage

Source of wealth: Inherited; Mars Inc.


20. Jack Ma

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Jack Ma started e-commerce company Alibaba with just $US60,000 in 1999. Fifteen years later, it broke records with a $US25 billion initial public offering.

Net worth: $US34.8 billion

Age: 54

Citizenship: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Alibaba


19. Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer dropped out of business school at Stanford to become Microsoft’s first business manager with a salary of $US50,000 and a stake in the company. He eventually became CEO after Bill Gates stepped down and held the post until Satya Nadella replaced him in 2014.

Net worth: $US37.3 billion

Age: 62

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft


18. Alice Walton

Alice Walton is the youngest heir to Helen and Sam Walton’s Walmart fortune. She hasn’t taken an active role in running the superstore empire, but she co-manages Walton Enterprises, one of the family’s two holding companies.

Net worth: $US42.6 billion

Age: 69

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inherited; Walmart


17. David Koch

David Koch runs Koch Industries as executive vice president with his brother, Charles. Koch Industries manufactures, refines, and distributes a wide range of things, including chemicals, energy, minerals, and more.

Net worth: $US42.9 billion

Age: 78

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Self-made; Koch Industries


16. Charles Koch

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Charles Koch runs Koch Industries as chairman and CEO with his brother, David. In addition to their conglomerate, the two brothers are major political influencers.

Net worth: $US42.9 billion

Age: 83

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Self-made; Koch Industries


15. Mukesh Ambani

After his father died in 2002, Mukesh Ambani took over as chairman of Reliance Industries. He now controls about 40% of the company, which owns the world’s largest oil refining complex.

Net worth: $US43 billion

Age: 61

Citizenship: India

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Inherited/self-made; Reliance Industries


14. Michael Bloomberg

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesMichael Bloomberg speaks at the DNC.

After being fired by Salomon Brothers, Bloomberg founded his eponymous financial-data firm in 1981. He added the news and media subsidiary in 1990, but the majority of Bloomberg LP’s revenue continues to come from the sale of terminals. He later served as mayor of New York City for three terms.

Net worth: $US43.4 billion (according to Forbes)

Age: 76

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Financial Services/Media

Source of wealth: Self-made; Bloomberg LP


13. Rob Walton

Samuel Robson “Rob” Walton is the oldest son of Walmart founders Helen and Sam Walton. He started working at the superstore empire back in 1969 and served as chairman from 1992 to 2015.

Net worth: $US43.8 billion

Age: 74

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inherited; Walmart


12. Jim Walton

James “Jim” Walton is the youngest son of Walmart founders Helen and Sam Walton. He co-manages Walton Enterprises, the holding company for the Walton family assets.

Net worth: $US44 billion

Age: 70

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inherited; Walmart


11. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

Francoise Betterncourt Meyers is now the heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune after her mother’s death in September 2017. She controls 33% of the company, according to Bloomberg.

Net worth: $US45.1 billion

Age: 64

Citizenship: France

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth: Inherited; L’Oreal Group


10. Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison teamed up with two colleagues from an electronics company in 1977 to start their own programming firm, which then shortly landed a contract to build a relational database-management system for the CIA. The project later grew into what’s known today as Oracle Corp., the second largest software maker behind Microsoft. He stepped down as CEO in 2014.

Net worth: $US48.9 billion

Age: 74

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Oracle


9. Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin co-founded Google with Larry Page back in 1998. He is now the president of Alphabet, which is the company that owns Google.

Net worth: $US49.1 billion

Age: 45

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Google


8. Larry Page

Larry Page co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in 1998. He is now the CEO of Alphabet, which is the company that owns Google.

Net worth: $US50.5 billion

Age: 45

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Google


7. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg launched TheFacebook.com when he was a sophomore in college before dropping out to work on the site full-time.

Net worth: $US52.3 billion

Age: 34

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Facebook


6. Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim owns a large number of companies in Mexico through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso. He also controls America Movil, the largest operator of mobile phones in Latin America.

Net worth: $US56 billion

Age: 78

Citizenship: Mexico

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; Grupo Carso


5. Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortego controls fashion giant Inditex, which owns Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, and others. At least part of his success can be attributed to Zara’s fast-fashion business model.

Net worth: $US57.7 billion

Age: 82

Citizenship: Spain

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; Inditex


4. Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault is the chair of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which houses dozens of luxury brands. Arnault bought Christian Dior when he joined the business, and helped revive the company.

Net worth: $US66.1 billion

Age: 69

Citizenship: France

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth:Self-made/Inheritance; LVMH


3. Warren Buffett

After getting rejected from Harvard Business School, Warren Buffett went to Columbia instead where he studied under Benjamin Graham, who would become his mentor. He later bought Berkshire Hathaway in 1969 and transformed it into a powerhouse holding company.

Net worth: $US78.7 billion

Age: 88

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; Berkshire Hathaway


2. Bill Gates

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen, and served as CEO until 2000. He still sits on the company’s board, but is no longer active in the day-to-day dealings.

Net worth: $US89.5 billion

Age: 63

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft


1. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in the garage of his Seattle home in 1994. The online marketplace went public three years later and has since grown to sell everything from fashion to tech to food and Amazon’s own consumer-electronics products.

On September 13, 2018, Bezos became the richest man in modern history when his net worth hit $US150 billion.

Net worth: $US125 billion

Age: 54

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Amazon

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