How Many Billionaires Are In The World?

Forbes released its list of the world's richest people in March of 2019 and it's bad news for the billionaire set. The total number of billionaires on planet Earth was down by 55, bringing the total to just 2,153, or roughly 0.000028% of the world's population. Let's all pause for a moment and shed a tear for those poor ex-billionaires.

But it gets worse. Forty-six percent of the world's remaining billionaires are "poorer" than they were in the previous year. The total net worth of the world's billionaires is just $8.7 trillion, which is $400 billion less than it was in 2018. Boo-hoo.

So who are these uber-rich people? Who are these folks swimming in more money than they could ever spend, who have never set foot in a grocery store, who may or may not be building suits of superhero armor, and who've made Forbes' list of the wealthiest of the wealthy? Well: mostly a bunch of white dudes. Jeff Bezos, captain of the pirate ship Amazon, tops the list as the world's richest man, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in the number two position. Some other names from the top ten you might recognize: investor Warren Buffett at number three, Oracle's Larry Ellison at number seven, Facebook-creator Mark Zuckerberg at number eight, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at nine, and Google's Larry Page at number 10. Fourteen of the 20 richest people in the world are Americans. In fact, with 607 billionaires in its ranks, America has the most crazy-rich people of any country in the world, according to Business Insider. China comes in second, with 324. Amateurs.

Let's give credit where it's due, though. A slightly-older report by Wealth-X says that a considerable number of billionaires engage in philanthropy, and it ranks as the "primary industry" for roughly 4.8% of all billionaires. That's not a huge percent, really, but in terms of dollar value it's actually pretty significant. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett led the philanthropic charge when they created the "Giving Pledge" in 2010, which is a promise to donate at least half of their personal fortunes to charity. So far around 170 of the world's wealthiest people (including Michael Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg) have signed up to do the same. 

So good news: You don't have to feel like smacking Mark Zuckerberg in the face anymore. Now let's just wait for the other 1,983 billionaires to sign on. Should be any minute now.