Who is the richest person in the world?

Elon Musk retains title as tech leaders continue to dominate billionaires' league table

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault
Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Elon Musk is still the world's richest person despite a significant drop in the value of his companies following reports of his alleged drug use.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world's richest people, Musk's total net worth is $202 billion, down from the end of last year but still above Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who claims second spot. 

In truth, the title "richest person in the world" changes hands quite often between a very small group of very rich men – and they are nearly always men. Here we look at the top 10 richest billionaires in the world right now and where they rank according to the Bloomberg index.

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1. Elon Musk: $202bn

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

(Image credit: Patrick Pleul/Pool/Getty Images)

Elon Musk is known as the eccentric and outspoken chief executive of electric car giant Tesla, founder and CEO of SpaceX and owner of social media platform X, formerly Twitter. His vast wealth derives from his shares in Tesla and stake in SpaceX, which has nearly quintupled its value in four years and is now worth nearly $150 billion, said Forbes. But it has been a tough start to the year for Musk and his companies. Tesla stock dropped nearly 30%, with the firm "beset by a variety of woes, including lots of recalls and stiffer competition in the electric vehicle market", said Quartz. Its valuation has not been helped by reports in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of drug use at the top of the company. Musk, who has not commented on the most recent WSJ claims, has lost more than $24 billion so far in 2024, said Quartz.

2. Jeff Bezos: $193bn

Jeff Bezos

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former hedge fund manager Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his garage in 1994. He has invested heavily in space technology too, having founded Blue Origin as a "pet project" back in 2000. After stepping down as Amazon CEO he took on the new role of executive chair. He also owns The Washington Post newspaper. The multibillionaire sold 24 million Amazon shares, worth around $4 billion, in early February.

3. Bernard Arnault: $188bn

Bernard Arnault

(Image credit: MAXPPP/Alamy Stock Photo)

When it comes to "the world of luxury goods", perhaps no one is "more successful" than Bernard Arnault, said Business Insider. The Frenchman oversees the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton empire of more than 70 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon, TAG Heuer, Christian Dior and Dom Pérignon. Unlike almost everyone else on this list his fortune is not derived from technology stock, meaning that his net worth is less prone to the whims of the markets.

4. Mark Zuckerberg: $165bn

Mark Zuckerberg

(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Zuckerberg famously dropped out of Harvard to pursue his dream of starting social media site Facebook, which now boasts nearly three billion users worldwide. He remains CEO of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, with a 13% stake. Having dropped out of the top 10, Zuckerberg made a dramatic return to Bloomberg's list last year, driven by a 150% rise in Meta's stock price, making it "one of the best-performing technology stocks of 2023", said The Times. Its stock has continued this strong performance into the new year, surging over 30% already this year, said The Motley Fool – seeing Zuckerberg's net worth rise by tens of billions of dollars and catapulting him up the table.

5. Bill Gates: $147bn

Bill Gates

(Image credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been a permanent fixture near the top of the rich list for the best part of three decades, 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. Gates has already given away an "astounding $59 billion" through his charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which advances education and public health initiatives around the globe, and has vowed to donate as much as 99.96% of his wealth in total, said financial news site The Street.

6. Steve Ballmer: $141bn

Steve Ballmer

(Image credit: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The former CEO of Microsoft led the tech giant from 2000 to 2014, after joining as one of its first employees in 1980. By the time he stepped down a decade ago he was believed to have around a 4% stake in the company, which would see him collect an annual dividend "just shy of $1 billion", said CNN. It comes after Microsoft joined Apple to become a $3 trillion company this year. Ballmer is the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. 

7. Larry Page: $131bn

Larry Page

(Image credit: Kimberly White/Getty Images for Fortune)

Internet entrepreneur Larry Page is one of the co-founders of Google, which he started while a PhD student at Stanford in 1998. He stepped down as CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet Inc in December 2019 but remains a board member. Last year, Page and his fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin, "who've been helping with the AI push and are more involved in the company than they've been in years", added more than $18 billion to their combined wealth as a direct result of the artificial intelligence "frenzy" sweeping Silicon Valley, said Fortune.

8. Warren Buffett: $131bn

Warren Buffett

(Image credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)

Warren Buffett was 11 years old when he first bought stock, according to Forbes. Now in his ninth decade, the Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, known as the "Oracle of Omaha", is one of the most successful investors of all time. Like Gates, Buffett has pledged to give away more than 99% of his fortune to charity.

9. Larry Ellison: $128bn

Larry Ellison

(Image credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

American business magnate Larry Ellison is co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle, which he started in 1977. He stepped down as CEO in 2017 but still owns around 35% of the software giant. A big donor to the Republican Party, the 79-year-old is known as America's "most avid trophy-home buyer", and now owns a property portfolio worth well over $1 billion, reported the South China Morning Post, snapping up "everything from mega mansions and hotels to temples and whole islands".

10. Sergey Brin: $125bn

Sergey Brin

(Image credit: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize)

Born in Moscow to Jewish parents, the family left for the US when Brin was six due to antisemitism. Co-founding Google with his Stanford classmate Larry Page, Brin served as head of technology from 2001 to 2011 before transitioning to the role of "director of special projects", helping transform the company into an "internet powerhouse", said Outlook India. He was president of Alphabet Inc until December 2019 and "remains a board member and a controlling shareholder", said Forbes.

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