These Are The Richest People In The World Right Now

Every year, Forbes compiles a list of known richest people in the world, and this year, according to their report, Jeff Bezos is still occupying the top spot for 3 straight years, since July 27, 2017, when he first toppled Bill Gates.

Giving the global economic hurdle caused by the coronavirus pandemic this year, it is interesting to note that, rather than decrease, the number of world billionaires welcomed an additional 31 persons during the pandemic period, according to the Swiss bank UBS. The total number of billionaires worldwide rose to 2,189, up from 2,158 in 2017.

Despite this, the same billionaires who occupied the top 10 spots last year are still the top 10 billionaires for 2020, the only difference is the change in their previous positions. Altogether, the Financial Times reports that the billionaires of the world have a summative net worth of $10.2 trillion, a substantial increase from last year’s record. Forbes considers this record-breaking as well.

The Top 20 Billionaires of 2020

20. Ma Huateng (China)

  • Net worth: $38.1 Billion
  • Industry: Technology
  • Country of Residence: China

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Ma Huateng is perceived as the richest man in China. He is also the founder of Tencent company – which specializes in gaming, and entertainment. The company is also home to internet hub activities. His company, Tencent is ranked as the most valuable company in the whole of Asia. The company is widely known for its innovation of China’s biggest mobile instant messaging service, WeChat, while its subsidiaries provide media, entertainment, payment systems, smartphones, internet-related services, value-added services, and online advertising services, both in China and globally.

19. Charles Koch (US)

  • Net worth: $38.2 Billion
  • Industry: Diversified businesses 
  • Country of Residence: United States

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Charles and his brother David Koch founded the Koch Industries in 1967. Initially, the company was mainly into oil refining and chemical production, but today, it has moved past that, diversifying its resources and energy towards polymer, fibers, minerals, fertilizers, and trading commodities.

18. Julia Koch (US)

  • Net worth: $38.2 Billion
  • Industry: Diversified businesses
  • Country of Residence: United States

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Julia is the wife of late American business magnate, David Koch, who died at the age of 79 in August 2019. But, before she met David Koch, she had worked as an assistant to top fashion designer Adolfo in the 1980s, styled First Lady Nancy Reagan as one of her clients, and many other jobs before she met David Koch via a blind date in 1991.

 17. Jack Ma (China)

  • Net worth: $56.0 Billion
  • Industry: Technology
  • Country of Residence: China

The Chinese billionaire is popular for his many unsuccessful attempts at wanting to become a success – applied for 30 jobs and got rejected by all 30 and yet, he was undeterred. He later co-founded the Alibaba group, a multinational technology conglomerate, and served as an executive chairman. Today, the Alibaba group is one of the most successful internet firms in the world, and Jack Ma is one of the richest men in the whole of China.

16. Michael Bloomberg (U.S.)

  • Net Worth: $54.9 Billion
  • Source: Bloomberg Company
  • Industry: Media 
  • Country of Residence: United States

Michael Bloomberg Net Worth
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The American businessman is one of the media pioneers that helped expand the mainstream media sector in the United States for over two decades. He is also one of the few business tycoons that have delved into mainstream politics in recent years. In 2020, the former New York mayor poured roughly $1 billion into a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, including $275 million on anti-Trump advertising. He quit in March 2020, endorsing frontrunner Joe Biden and transferring his remaining campaign cash to the Democratic party.

15. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (France)

  • Net worth: $65.9 Billion
  • Industry: Beauty Empire
  • Country of Residence: France

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Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the only daughter and heiress of the late French billionaire, Liliane Bettencourt. She is widely known as the granddaughter of L’Oréal founder and her family owns the bulk of one of the world’s largest beauty company, L’Oréal. She inherited one-third of the personal care company which is now valued at $56.8 billion from her mother. This was after a dramatic legal battle with her mother’s close friend. While she owes the majority of her wealth to her role in the company as a member of the board of directors, she is also a seasoned author of Bible commentaries and works on Jewish Christan relations.

14. Sergey Brin (U.S.)

  • Net worth: $49.1 Billion
  • Source: Google
  • Industry: Technology 
  • Country of Residence: United States

Sergey Brin
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Sergey Brin is probably one of the first names that come to mind when one thinks of tech geniuses for being one of the co-founders of Google. Since launching Google, the internet businessman has also held different positions in the company including being the chief executive of Google. He has also served as the president of Google’s parent company Alphabet. His tremendous role in growing the tech company into what it has become today has earned him a place in the list of the world’s billionaires for many years with a current net worth estimated at $49.1 billion.

13. Larry Page (U.S.)

  • Net worth: $65.6 Billion
  • Source: Google
  • Industry: Technology
  • Country of Residence: United States

Larry Page
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Along with Larry Ellison and Sergey Brin, Lawrence Edward Page is a co-founder of Google. As a young American computer scientist, Larry served as the chief executive officer of Google from 1997 until August 2001. He chaired Alphabet Inc as CEO between April 2011 and July 2015. He stepped down in that capacity but remains an active member of the board.

12. Carlos Slim (Mexico)

  • Net Worth: $52.1 Billion
  • Source: Telecommunication/Assorted Business
  • Industry: Telecom 
  • Country of Residence: Mexico

Carlos Slim Helu
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A notable Mexican investor, Carlos Slim derives most of his fortune from his extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso. He started off his business career as a stock trader in the 1960s and later went into mining before diversifying his enterprise further to include telecom, media, and other industries. Today, the Mexican businessman has built up a fortune estimated at $52. 1 billion.

11. Steve Ballmer

  • Net Worth: $71.4 Billion
  • Source: Microsoft
  • Industry: Technology
  • Country of Residence: United States
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Steve Ballmer is a Michigan native who owns the Los Angeles-based NBA club, the Los Angeles Clippers, which he purchased on May 14, 2014, for a whopping $2 billion. Before this time, Ballmer had worked with Microsoft under Bill Gates and later rose to the company’s Presidency in 1998, replacing Gates as CEO in 2002. He remained on the company’s Board of Directors until his retirement on August 19, 2014.

10. Rob Walton (U.S.)

  • Net worth: $54.1 Billion
  • Source: Walmart
  • Industry: Fashion & Retail
  • Country of Residence: United States

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Despite the fact that most of his wealth is accumulated inheritance, Rob Walton worked hard to raise Walmart to be the world’s largest retailer. He served the company as Chairman of Walmart between 1992 to 2015, accruing a net worth of $54.1 billion as of September 2020.

9. Alice Walton 

  • Net worth: $54.4 Billion
  • Source: Walmart
  • Industry: Fashion & Retail
  • Country of Residence: United States

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The sister of Rob Walton and Jim Walton is also an heir to her family’s empire, Walmart. She began her career in business as an equity analyst and money manager for First Commerce Corporation. She also established an investment bank known as Llama Company and served as the company’s president until its closure in the 1990s. Currently, Walton has a net worth of $54.4 billion, making her the richest woman in the world.

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8. Jim Walton 

  • Net worth: $54.9 Billion
  • Source: Walmart
  • Industry: Fashion & Retail
  • Country of Residence: United States

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At number eight is Jim Walton, a member of the Walton family and one of the heirs to the fortune of Walmart. Just like his brother, Rob, and sister, Alice, he has served in different capacities of the company. He was also the CEO of Arvest bank, his family-owned business, and later the Chairman of the company as well as Chairman of a newspaper firm Community Publishers Inc. Currently, he is on the Strategic Planning and Finance committees.

7. Mark Zuckerberg (U.S.)

  • Net Worth: US$54. 7 Billion
  • Source: Facebook
  • Industry: Social Media 
  • Country of Residence: United States


The CEO of Facebook has continued to impact and improve the diverse nature of social media. At the same time, the White Plains, New York native has continued to amass wealth for himself, making him one of the richest billionaires in the world. It is important to state that, he is the only person under 40 to make it to the Top 20 richest people in the world.

6. Amancio Ortega (Spain)

  • Net Worth: $55.1 Billion
  • Source: Zara
  • Industry: Fashion 
  • Country of Residence: Spain


Zara founder, Amancio Ortega served as the chairman of the Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories shops. With over $55 billion, he is the second wealthiest retailer in the world. In 2015, when his net worth increased to $80 billion, he briefly surpassed Bill Gates at the number one ranking. Currently, his fortune is estimated at $55.1 billion.

5. Larry Ellison (U.S.)

  • Net Worth: $78 Billion
  • Source: Oracle
  • Industry: Technology
  • Country of Residence: United States


The New York-based billionaire alongside Sergey Brin and Larry Page is a co-founder of a multi-billion company, Google. Although in December 2019, he stepped down as CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, he has remained a board member ever since. In the same year, he was listed by Forbes magazine as the fourth-wealthiest person in the United States and as the sixth-wealthiest in the world, with a fortune of $69.1 billion. Currently, his net worth is estimated at $59 billion.

4. Warren Buffet (U.S.)

  • Net Worth: $67.5 billion
  •  Source: Berkshire Hathaway
  • Industry: Finance & Investment 
  • Country of Residence: United States


Born August 30, 1930, Warren Buffet is certainly the oldest on this list. He is also one of the world’s billionaires who have been in the elite class of the top richest men in the world the longest. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has for decades continue to float his company as one of the biggest and richest, until the likes of Gates and Bezos appeared on the scene.

3. Bernard Arnault (France)

  • Net worth: $113 Billion
  • Source: Louis Vuitton
  • Industry: Fashion & Retail
  • Country of Residence: France

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A Paris-based billionaire, Bernard Arnault is the wealthiest European on the list. He is the owner of the designer’s company, Louis Vuitton, and over the years, he has been able to put the company on the global map as the biggest and one of the most iconic fashion brands in the world. Apart from his stake in the fashion company, the Frenchman is a proud owner of about 60 brands worldwide.

2. Bill Gates (U.S.)

  • Net Worth: $120 billion
  • Source: Microsoft
  • Industry: Technology
  • Country of Residence: USA


As a young student at the University of Harvard, Bill had his eyes on developing Microsoft and was able to achieve this with the aid of co-owner, Paul Allen, when he dropped out of college. He will go on to placate himself as the No.1 world richest man for 18 years in over two decades. Today, he is at No.2 spot after selling off much of his stake in his company, as he now owns just 1% of Microsoft. Currently, he is focusing largely on his philanthropist activities in Africa and the world at large. Despite this fact, Bill Gates remains a board member at the company.

1. Jeff Bezos (U.S.)

  • Net Worth: $190 Billion
  • Industry: Technology
  • Source: Amazon
  • Country of Residence: United States


Jeff Benzos is the CEO of Amazon, owner of the Washington Post, and richest man in the world. Considering how he has consistently appeared on this list for over a decade now, one will have to commend his efforts. Before he started his own business, Amazon in 1993, Jeffrey Preston Bezos had worked at different establishments which include; Fitel, a fintech telecommunications start-up, banking industry, and D. E. Shaw & Co. With his wealth of experience, today, Amazon is a multi-billion dollar company, and the man behind its success, Jeff is the No.1 richest man in the world.

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What About The Top 10 Richest Billionaires in Africa?

The List of Africa’s richest people remains the same although they seem not to be thriving as before due to the pandemic. The year’s richest, Nigerian’s Dangote fell from $10.1 billion at the beginning of the year to $8.8 billion. Mike Adenuga, who used to be the third richest in the continent with a net of $7.7 billion is now at the number of five with a decreased net worth of $6.2 billion. Similarly, other billionaires of the continent have experienced a decline in their income. Below is what the year has for African’s billionaires.

1. Aliko Dangote (Nigeria)

  • Net worth: $8.8 Billion
  • Industry: Diversified business
  • Country of Residence: Nigeria

Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian business magnate and founder of Dangote Group. Although he started off with cement and sugar production, today, his company has expanded, channeling its resources into spaghetti, oil, and many other consumer products. He has begun construction of what would be the biggest oil refinery in Africa. It is as a result of his hard work and business success, that he is today acknowledged as the richest black man alive.

2. Nicky Oppenheimer

  • Net worth: $7.6 Billion
  • Industry: Diamond mines
  • Country of Residence: South Africa

The richest man in South Africa comes from a family that has for long, controlled the spots in the world diamond trade. So, it doesn’t come off as a surprise to see Nicky overseeing their interest in its family-owned diamond firm, DeBeers. Aside from its family diamonds, Nicky is a proud owner of other precious properties and chains of investments like the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, the largest private game reserve in South Africa.

 3. Issad Rebrab

  • Net worth: $7.5 Billion
  • Industry: Sugar
  • Country of Residence: Algeria

Issad Rebrab is the founder and CEO of Cevital, Algeria’s biggest privately-held company. This company of his produces about 2 million tons of sugar annually. It is for the exact reason that it is referred to as the largest sugar refinery. Also, Cevital has some European and foreign establishments under its control.

4. Nassef Sawiris

  • Net worth: $7.3 Billion
  • Industry: Construction
  • Country of Residence: Egypt

He is the founder of one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer companies, OCI. It is public knowledge that Nassef comes from one of the wealthiest families in Egypt, but, his hard work and determination have elevated him to be ranked as the No. 4 wealthiest man in Africa.

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5. Mike Adenuga

  • Net worth: $6.2 Billion
  • Industry: Telecommunications/Oil
  • Country of Residence: Nigeria

Mike Adenuga
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He is the founder of one of the largest telecommunication giants in Africa. Through his company, Globacom, he has been able to bridge the communication gap in Nigeria, at the same time, expanding offshores. He is also the owner of the oil firm, Conoil Producing, which operates in most parts of the country.

6. Johann Rupert

  • Net worth: $5.5 Billion
  • Industry: Luxury goods
  • Country of Residence: South Africa

The Cape Town-based South African billionaire is the Chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm, Compagnie Financiere Richemont. He is widely known for his penchant for investments such as owning a part of the Saracens English rugby team and Anthonij Rupert Wines, named after his deceased brother.

7. Mohamed Mansour

  • Net worth: $3.3 Billion
  • Industry: Diversified businesses
  • Country of Residence: Egypt

Mansour family owns Mansour Group, the second-biggest conglomerate in Egypt by revenue. Mohamed Mansour is the chairman of the company and through his role in the company, the company has been able to diversify including motors dealership (General Motors) to its many endeavors. Apart from his family business, Mansour has also served as Minister of Transportation under President Hosni Mubarak between 2006 to 2009.

8. Abdulsamad Rabiu

  • Net worth: $3.2 Billion
  • Industry: Cement, Sugar.
  • Country of Residence: Nigeria

Africa's top 10 billionaires
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He owns the BUA Group which is based in Lagos, Nigeria. Through his company, BUA, Rabiu has been able to make available the basic needs of Nigerians in his production of cement and sugar.

9. Naguib Sawiris

  • Net worth: $3.0 Billion
  • Source: Cement, Sugar
  • Country of Residence: Egypt

Naguib Sawiris is an Egyptian business magnate. He built a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction. The 65-years-old Cairo-based tycoon is the elder brother to another of Egypt’s billionaire, Nassef.

10. Patrice Motsepe

  • Net worth: $2.6 Billion
  • Source: Cement, Sugar
  • Country of Residence: South Africa

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Johannesburg based billionaire and socialite is the owner and Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals. In 2008, he appeared on the Forbes list, becoming the first black African billionaire on the Forbes list. He is also a sports lover, acquiring top South African football club, Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.

Who Is The Richest Person of All Time?

Although Bezos is the richest person alive, he is far from being the richest person of all time. The American billionaire currently has the biggest fortune ever accrued by one person without factoring in inflation and other related factors. However, Mansu Musa 1 of Mali, the first king of Timbuktu and the tenth ruler of the old Mali Empire who ruled from 1280AD – 1337AD takes the shine for the richest person of all time. He ruled West Africa’s Malian Empire in the early 14th century.

Although not a household name, several historical accounts have mentioned him as the richest man to have lived. This is because, at the peak of the trans-Saharan trade, the medieval king exploited his country’s vast salt and gold deposits which at some point accounted for half the world’s supply for his own use as their supreme ruler.

To prove how wealthy he was, Musa is said to have brought several tonnes of gold to Mecca when he made a pilgrimage there in 1324, deflating the value of gold across much, if not all, of North Africa. He also constructed hundreds of mosques across the continent, many of which still exist to this day. His net worth has been estimated at $418 billion.

Amara O
Amara is a creative writer and has been creating content for several years. Her experience cuts across various segments such as African cuisine, travel, nature, and politics.
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