The World’s Billionaire Population – 2021

Visualized: The World’s Billionaire Population

The world’s billionaires—only 3,311 individuals—represent almost $11.8 trillion in wealth. The global billionaire population continued to grow in 2021, increasing by 3%. Over the same period, billionaire wealth also increased by 18%.

This map uses data from the Wealth-X Billionaire Census to visualize where the world’s billionaires live and breaks down their collective wealth.

Billionaires by Region

We’ll begin by zooming out to look at how various continents and world regions rank in terms of their billionaire population.

Joyce Ma, 2022, The Worlds Billionaire Population 2021, Copyright © 2022 Visual Capitalist, accessed 15 September 2022,

— source | Sep 15, 2022

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While CEOs Make Millions and Workers Struggle, Union Surge Is Unsurprising

In just a little over six months, the number of Starbucks outlets where workers are represented by a union has spiked from zero to 165.

This pro-union wildfire is stunning. But should it be unexpected?

After more than two years on the frontlines of a pandemic, low-wage workers like those at Starbucks have seen modest increases in their wages. But in most cases, these raises have been overtaken by inflation. And meanwhile, paychecks for those at the top of the corporate ladder are soaring.

A recent Institute for Policy Studies report found that the average pay gap between CEOs and median workers at the 300 U.S. corporations with the lowest median worker pay hit 671 to 1 in 2021, up from 604 to 1 in 2020.

At Starbucks, the gap was even larger.

— source | Brian Wakamo | Jun 23, 2022

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Forbes, India and Pandora’s Pandemic Box

The ranks of Indian Dollar Billionaires swelled from 102 to 140 in 12 months, if the Forbes 2021 List is to be believed (and when it comes to billionaires and their wealth, Forbes is mostly to be believed). Their combined wealth, it notes, has “nearly doubled to $ 596 billion” in just the past year.

This means 140 individuals, or 0.000014 per cent of the population, had a cumulative worth equivalent to 22.7 per cent (or well over a fifth) of our Gross Domestic Product of $ 2.62 trillion, bringing, as they always do, that whole other meaning to the word ‘Gross’.

Most major Indian dailies carried the Forbes pronouncement in that approving tone they reserve for such feats – omitting to mention what the Oracle of Pelf says in a more upfront and honest way.

“Another Covid-19 wave,” says Forbes in the first paragraph of its report on this country, “is sweeping across

— source | P. Sainath | Apr 18, 2021

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719 Billionaires Now Own Four Times More Wealth Than Poorest 165 Million Americans Combined

After seeing their fortunes surge during the deadly coronavirus pandemic, America’s 719 billionaires are now collectively worth $4.56 trillion—making them over four times wealthier than the roughly 165 million people in the bottom half of U.S. society combined, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness. The two groups found that the wealth of U.S. billionaires grew by $1.62 trillion—55%—between March 18, 2020 and April 12, 2021, a period in which millions lost their jobs and more than 500,000 Americans lost their lives to Covid-19. The 165 million people at the bottom of the wealth distribution, meanwhile, collectively own around $1.01 trillion, far less than the nation’s hundreds of billionaires.

IPS and ATF note that in 1990, “the situation was reversed”—adjusted for inflation, the bottom 50% owned $380 billion in combined wealth while the nation’s 66 billionaires owned $240 billion.

“It’s not just during the pandemic—billionaires have been running up the score on average Americans for decades,” said ATF executive director Frank Clemente. “The way to reverse this trend is by making sure the wealthy, and the corporations they own, start paying their fair share of taxes.”

— source | Jake Johnson | Apr 15, 2021

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10% of the U.S. richest hold 69% of the country’s entire household wealth

The wealthy class in the United States has experienced significant gains in their fortune, dwarfing the cumulative household wealth of the lower class. The U.S. household wealth refers to the value of homes, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other assets without mortgage debt, auto loans, credit card debt, and other forms of borrowing.

Data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that 10% of the United States upper class account for 69.2% of the country’s total household wealth as of Q4 2020. The country’s top 1% richest controls a fortune of $38.91 trillion, translating to 31.4% of the entire household wealth. Another 9% of the rich account for 38.2% of the household wealth at $46.99 trillion. The wealth distribution inequality is exhibited by the bottom 50% class that controls $2.49 trillion of household wealth or just 2%.

Elsewhere, a comparison of household wealth distribution between Q4 1990 and Q4 2020 shows a staggering difference between the upper and lower classes. During the period, the

— source | Justinas
Baltrusaitis | 2021

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Global Billionaire Wealth Surges $4 Trillion Over Pandemic

As over 2.8 million people have died globally from COVID in the past year, the wealth of the world’s billionaires has surged.

The planet’s 2,365 billionaires have seen their wealth increase $4 trillion, or 54 percent, during the pandemic year. Their combined wealth rose from $8.04 trillion to $12.39 trillion between March 18, 2020 and March 18, 2021.

Thirteen billionaires saw their wealth increase over 500 percent (see the “500 Percent Club” below). Many of them are connected to companies that benefited enormously from the conditions of the pandemic, including having their competition shut down or diminished.

There are 270 new billionaires on this year’s global list, while 91 billionaires fell off the list.

The analysis was conducted for the Patriotic Millionaires (and their affiliated UK Millionaires) and Millionaires for Humanity by the Institute for Policy Studies –Program on

— source Institute for Policy Studies | Chuck Collins, Omar Ocampo | Mar 31, 2021

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Over 25 Years, World’s Wealthiest 5% Behind Over One-Third of Global Emissions Growth

As world leaders prepare for this November’s United Nations Climate Conference in Scotland, a new report from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission reveals that the world’s wealthiest 5% were responsible for well over a third of all global emissions growth between 1990 and 2015.

The report, entitled Changing Our Ways: Behavior Change and the Climate Crisis, found that nearly half the growth in absolute global emissions were cause by the world’s richest 10%, with the most affluent 5% alone contributing 37%.

“In the year when the U.K. hosts COP26, and while the government continues to reward some of Britain’s biggest polluters through tax credits, the commission report shows why this is precisely the wrong way to meet the U.K.’s climate targets,” the report’s introduction states.

The authors of the report urge United Kingdom policymakers to focus on this so-called “polluter elite” in an effort to persuade wealthy people to adopt more sustainable behavior, while providing “affordable, available low-carbon alternatives to poorer households.”

— source | Brett Wilkins | Apr 13, 2021

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How America’s Ultrawealthy Won the Pandemic

Deadly viruses don’t much care what’s in your wallet, but socioeconomic privilege and access to wealth do wonders when it comes to not just surviving a plague but cashing in on it. Having spent more than a year pre-COVID working on a new nonfiction book about the absurdity of wealth in America during this second Gilded Age, I figured the pandemic would throw a wrench into my story. Yet perhaps unsurprisingly, over the past year, the superrich have remained safely ensconced on their side of an economic chasm that just keeps widening as investment profits flow to the very top while America’s less fortunate struggle just to get by. I put together these stats to demonstrate the degree to which our most privileged citizens have benefitted, often at the expense of the rest of us.

Who’s on top?

Long before the pandemic hit, America’s economic spoils flowed disproportionately to the top earners, while more than half of the population failed to thrive.

How the rich fared during the pandemic

In the first three months of 2020, the combined wealth of Americans with assets of $30 million or more dipped 26%—but then bounced back almost entirely by the end of August.

The pandemic relief passed in December 2020 included a bipartisan provision that will save America’s wealthiest 1 percent an estimated $120 billion in taxes.

— source | Michael Mechanic | May+June 2021

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