When it comes to wealth, there’s a scale for everything. What constitutes “wealthy” today may be very different from what it meant to be rich a century ago. In fact, as inflation increases the price of living, the number of billionaires is increasing as well.
In 2021, Forbes reported 2,755 billionaires worldwide. The 2021 list added a record high of nearly 500 new billionaires from 2020. The United States had 724 billionaires in 2021, the most in the world, while China had 698 and India 237.
Does that mean the richest person ever alive is among us today?
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Who was the richest person ever?
The richest person ever is thought to have been an emperor with an accumulation of wealth often described as “unimaginable” or “incalculable.” The title goes to 14th-century African emperor Mansa Musa, and his wealth has been estimated to be the modern day equivalent of $400 billion.
Musa ruled the Mali Empire beginning in 1312, at a time where gold and salt resources helped the empire expand and flourish. Musa and the empire owned almost half of the Old World’s gold, BBC reports. Musa is credited for funding and encouraging literature, education, architecture and the arts.
According to History.com, Musa showed the true size of his wealth on a pilgrimage to Mecca, surrounded by tens of thousands of soldiers and slaves carrying mass amounts of gold. He left behind gifts of gold as he crossed through Egypt, a gift generous in thought but not in actuality. The precious resource actually decreased the value of metal and had a disastrous impact on the economy for over a decade.
Who was the first billionaire?
John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire by measurable dollars. The Standard Oil Company founder became a billionaire in 1916 and was worth about 2% of the national economy. According to Forbes, the Rockefeller family’s wealth stood at $8.4 billion as of 2020. The fortune is spread out among over 70 heirs.
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Who is the richest person in the world?
Elon Musk holds the title of richest person in the world as of September 2022. Musk is the CEO of Tesla and the founder of SpaceX.
Musk ranked in the highest spot on Forbes’ 2022 richest billionaires list with a net worth of $219 billion, surpassing Jeff Bezos’ $171 billion. Bezos ranked number one on Forbes’ list in 2020 and 2021. As of September 2022, Musk’s net worth had grown to over $273 billion.
Who is the richest family in the world?
Despite an $11 billion loss in July 2022 after Walmart’s earnings fell, the Walton family is still the wealthiest family in the world with a net worth of nearly $200 billion, Insider reports. Sam Walton was the founder of Walmart, and left behind his legacy and wealth to his three children and their families.
Coming in close behind the Walton family for the title of the world’s richest family is the Mars family with an estimated wealth of $142 billion and the Koch family at $124 billion, according to Investopedia.
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Story Credit: usatoday.com