World's billionaires add more to their ranks, add $8 trillion to wealth amid pandemic


(NEW YORK) — A new report by Forbes finds that the world’s richest individuals have profited off the COVID-19 pandemic.   The publication’s 25th annual billionaires list found that the globe’s top earners added $5 trillion to their net worth.

In addition, a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires have been identified in 2021, adding 493 new billionaires since 2020.

When comparing last year’s total earnings from those who made the billionaires list, the list has made $8 trillion more than last year’s total amount.  Overall, the combined net worth of all those who appeared on the list is worth $13.1 trillion.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stayed in the top spot this year, with a total net worth of $177 billion.  In second was Tesla CEO Elon Musk with $151 billion, rising from 31 last year.

For the first time since 1993, Warren Buffet fell out of the top five earners, now listed at number six with a net worth of $96 billion.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg placed fifth with $97 billion while Microsoft founder Bill Gates placed fourth with a net worth of $124 billion.

The list has fueled economists concerns that the pandemic has only increased the wealth gap, citing the U.S. now having the most billionaires in the world with 724 residing in the country, and pointed to the current U.S. unemployment rate that sits at six percent. 

The unemployment rate was at 3.5 percent in February 2020.

While nearly 2,000 billionaires on this year’s list are described as “self made,” nearly 500 new billionaires made their money via COVID-related health care, cryptocurrency, traditional IPOs and SPACs.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.