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Ranked: The World’s Richest Billionaires Over the Past 10 Years



Infographic showing the richest billionaires of the past 10 years

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Ranked: The World’s Richest Billionaires Over the Past 10 Years

The last decade has seen a number of changes in the world’s richest billionaires list.

For one, there are new faces at the top of the leaderboard that were never there before. One of the most obvious changes though, is that the richest billionaires have accumulated a lot more wealth in recent years.

Using annual data from Forbes on the richest billionaires, we’ve visualized the wealth and ranking of the top 10 billionaires over the past decade.

Who are the World’s Richest Billionaires?

While the pecking order has fluctuated, the leaderboard remains very exclusive. Out of a possible 10 spots, there are only 19 individuals that have made the list over the last decade.

Here’s the current list of richest billionaires in 2022, including when they first made the list (if in the last decade):

RankNameCountryNet Worth (2022)First Year on List*
#1Elon Musk🇺🇸 U.S.$219 billion2021
#2Jeff Bezos🇺🇸 U.S.$171 billion2016
#3Bernard Arnault🇫🇷 France$158 billion-
#4Bill Gates🇺🇸 U.S.$129 billion-
#5Warren Buffett🇺🇸 U.S.$118 billion-
#6Larry Page🇺🇸 U.S.$111 billion2019
#7Sergey Brin🇺🇸 U.S.$107 billion2021
#8Larry Ellison🇺🇸 U.S.$106 billion-
#9Steve Ballmer🇺🇸 U.S.$91 billion2020
#10Mukesh Ambani🇮🇳 India$91 billion-

*Billionaires with “-” first made the list at an earlier date. Example: Mukesh Ambani made the 2008 list.

Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist, Bill Gates, is a perennial presence at the top of these lists. Gates is currently at his lowest rank over this time period, but is still in fourth spot. The billionaire has pledged to give away nearly all of his fortune to the eponymously named Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

From 2018 to 2021, Jeff Bezos sat at the top of the world’s richest people ranking, only to be bumped out by Elon Musk. In 2020, Bezos became the first person to amass a $200 billion fortune after Amazon’s stock price surged during the pandemic. In recent months, Bezos’ net worth has taken a hit as Amazon’s share price has fallen back down to Earth.

Today, Elon Musk is the world’s richest person.

The Rich Get Richer

Over time, the median net worth of the richest billionaires has grown significantly.

YearMedian Net Worth of Top 10 Billionaires
2013$39 billion
2014$44 billion
2015$49 billion
2016$45 billion
2017$56 billion
2018$71 billion
2019$64 billion
2020$68 billion
2021$97 billion
2022$115 billion

Most fortunes are held in the form of business equity, real estate, and publicly-traded stocks—all asset classes that have benefited from the era of cheap money and ultra-low interest rates.

Over the decade period, the median net worth of the top 10 billionaires has nearly tripled from $39 billion to $115 billion.

In fact, the first billionaire to pass the $100 billion threshold was Jeff Bezos in 2018, when he took the top spot on the list from Bill Gates. However, now all but two on the top 10 wealthiest list are centibillionaires.

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Animated: Change in Russian Billionaires’ Wealth Since 2022

How have Russian billionaires fared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? This animation tracks the wealth of 22 Russian billionaires.



Change in Russian Billionaires' Wealth Since 2022

Animated: Change in Russian Billionaires’ Wealth Since 2022

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, many countries retaliated with sanctions targeting Russian billionaires—the oligarchs—and politicians directly.

And as the war has progressed, those sanctions have intensified, with even the relatives and shell companies of these billionaires being targeted over time. The reason? These oligarchs are interconnected to Russia’s government, lending vocal and fiscal support in exchange for sweetheart deals or beneficial government oversight.

This animation from James Eagle shows how the estimated net wealth of the 22 wealthiest Russian billionaires on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in April 2023 has changed since January 2022, prior to the start of the conflict.

Net Wealth of Top Russian Billionaires

The 22 wealthiest Russian billionaires in April 20, 2023 lost a collective $90.4 billion in net worth since January 5, 2022.

RankNameMain IndustryNet Wealth
(Apr 20, 2023)
Net Wealth
(Jan 5, 2022)
% Change
1Vladimir PotaninCommodities$29.6B$31.1B -4.8%
2Leonid MikhelsonEnergy$27.2B$33.2B-18.1%
3Vladimir LisinIndustrial$21.5B$28.0B-23.2%
4Vagit AlekperovEnergy$19.1B$22.8B-16.2%
5Alisher UsmanovDiversified$19.1B$21.2B-9.9%
6Alexey MordashovIndustrial$18.1B$29.1B-37.8%
7Mikhail ProkhorovDiversified$14.3B$14.0B2.1%
8Gennady TimchenkoDiversified$13.2B$23.1B-42.9%
9Andrey MelnichenkoIndustrial$12.3B$17.8B-30.9%
10Mikhail FridmanDiversified$12.0B$14.1B-14.9%
11Dmitry RybolovlevDiversified$10.8B$11.2B-3.6%
12Andrey GuryevIndustrial$10.1B$8.0B26.3%
13Victor RashnikovIndustrial$9.1B$14.4B-36.8%
14Suleiman KerimovCommodities$8.9B$15.2B-41.4%
15German KhanDiversified$8.1B$9.6B-15.6%
16Roman AbramovichDiversified$7.7B$18.2B-57.7%
17Viktor VekselbergIndustrial$7.3B$18.6B-60.8%
18Leonid FedunEnergy$7.0B$8.9B-21.3%
19Alexander AbramovIndustrial$6.8B$9.1B-25.3%
20Vyacheslav KantorIndustrial$6.4B$9.1B-29.7%
21Petr AvenDiversified$5.8B$6.6B-12.1%
22Alexey KuzmichevDiversified$5.8B$7.3B-20.5%

The heaviest hit include Viktor Vekselberg, who holds a stake in UC Rusal, the world’s third largest aluminum producer. Since the start of the war, he’s lost an estimated $11.3 billion or 61% of his net worth from January 2022.

Roman Abramovich, who got his start in the early oligarchy through oil conglomerates, was also hit hard by the sanctions. He lost $10.5 billion or 58% of his net worth from January 2022, and was forced to sell Chelsea Football Club in one of the biggest sports team sales in history.

Notably, the richest oligarchs haven’t lost as much. Mining giant Norilsk Nickel’s largest shareholder, Vladimir Potanin, saw his net worth only drop by 4.8%. After being hit hard at the onset of the war in Ukraine, he quickly rebounded and at many times had an even higher net worth, reaching $35.6 billion in June 2022.

And a few oligarchs, like former Norilsk Nickel CEO Mikhail Prokhorov and phosphate-based fertilizer baron Andrey Guryev, saw their wealth increase since January 2022. Guryev grew his net worth by $2 billion or 26%, while Prokhorov (who formerly owned the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets) saw his net worth even out at a gain of $0.3 billion or 2%.

Oligarch Support of Russia (or Lack Thereof)

As Russia’s war with Ukraine has dragged on, and sanctions have continued to weigh on Russian billionaires, politicians, and companies, their effects have been uncertain.

Oligarchs have lost net worth, relinquished foreign businesses, and even had prized possessions like mansions and yachts seized. At the same time, though Russia’s economy has weakened under sanctions, bolstered trade with countries like China, India, and Saudi Arabia have kept it stronger than expected.

And though some oligarchs have voiced various concerns over the ongoing war, the wealthiest have been careful to toe the line. Russian billionaires and politicians that did vocalize criticism, including Lukoil chairman Ravil Maganov, have been found dead in apparent suicides, heart attacks, and accidents.

The most serious oligarch rebellion wasn’t due to economic hardships, but military operations. Oligarch and mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an attempted coup in June 2023, reportedly retreating after support from within Russia’s military quickly fizzled.

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