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Top ten billionaires: who is the world’s richest person in 2022?

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bernard Arnault take the top three spots on the Forbes billionaires list

After a while topping the real-time rich list, it’s now official… Elon Musk is the world’s richest person. According to the Forbes 36th Annual World’s Billionaires List, the Tesla chief has taken the top spot for the first time ever. 

When Forbes “locked in” the net fortunes of the world’s richest in 2022, Musk was worth an estimated $219bn. He added $68bn to his fortune over the past year “on the back of a 33% jump in the share price” of the electric vehicle maker. 

Musk has surpassed Jeff Bezos, who fell to second place for the first time in four years “due to a 3% drop in Amazon stock and increased charitable giving, which wiped $6bn from his net worth”. French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault added $8bn to his fortune over the past 12 months and he remains the world’s third-richest person. 

It’s not all been good news for the richest people on the planet, as “war, pandemic and plunging stock markets” have “dented the fortunes” of many. Forbes’s 2022 list features 2,668 billionaires – down from a record 2,755 last year. “Collectively, they’re worth $12.7trn, down from a record $13.1trn on the 2021 list,” said Chase Peterson-Withorn.

Here we look at the top ten richest people in the world, according to the Forbes 2022 World’s Billionaires list.

1

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Patrick Pleul/Pool/Getty Images

Elon Musk: $219bn

Elon Musk is the CEO of electric car giant Tesla and the founder and CEO of SpaceX. He divides his time between the two companies and projects like Hyperloop, a proposed ultra-high-speed train line. In April 2022 it was announced that Musk had become Twitter’s single biggest shareholder after buying a 9.2% stake worth almost $3bn. 

2

Jeff Bezos

Getty Images

Jeff Bezos: $171bn

Former hedge fund manager Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his garage in 1994. He has invested heavily in space technology too, and also owns The Washington Post newspaper. After stepping down as Amazon CEO he took on the new role of executive chair. 

3

French billionaire Bernard Arnault

Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images

Bernard Arnault and family: $158bn

Bernard Arnault is the wealthiest European on the list. The Frenchman oversees the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton empire of more than 70 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon and TAG Heuer.

4

Bill Gates

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Bill Gates: $129bn 

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been a permanent fixture near the top of the rich list for the past 20 years, despite selling and then giving away much of his stake in the tech company. He now owns just 1% and focuses predominantly on his philanthropic work.

5

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Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc

Warren Buffett: $118bn

Now in his ninth decade, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett, known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, is one of the most successful investors of all time. Like Bill Gates, Buffett has pledged to give away more than 99% of his fortune to charity.

6

Larry Page

Kimberly White/Getty Images for Fortune

Larry Page: $111bn

Internet entrepreneur Larry Page is one of the co-founders of Google. He stepped down as CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc in December 2019 but remains a board member.

7

Sergey Brin

Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize

Sergey Brin: $107bn

Along with Larry Page, Sergey Brin was a co-founder of Google. Until December 2019, he was president of Alphabet Inc.

8

Larry Ellison

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Larry Ellison: $106bn

American business magnate Larry Ellison is co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle. He owns around 35% of the software giant.

9

Steve Ballmer

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Steve Ballmer: $91.4bn

Steve Ballmer is the former CEO of Microsoft and led the tech giant from 2000 to 2014. He is now the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.

10

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani 

Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Mukesh Ambani: $90.7bn

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani is founder and chairman of Reliance Industries. The company has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom and retail.

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