There Are More Billionaires Than Ever Before: Forbes List 2024


  • April 2, 2024
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“It is utterly unconscionable that at a time where masses of the world’s population are living in dire poverty, a few individuals are allowed to amass staggering wealth,” said an activist responding to the list.

 

Groundxero | April 2, 2024

 

There are more billionaires than ever before. The world has 2,781 people with fortunes exceeding $1bn (about Rs 8300 crore), an increase of 141 on 2023, according to Forbes’ latest 2024 World’s Billionaires List, released on Tuesday.

 

The world’s billionaires have amassed record combined assets of $14.2 trillion exceeding the gross domestic product of every country in the world except the U.S. and China. Their collective wealth has risen by 120% in the past decade, with a $2tn increase in just one year from 2023, even as billions of people across the world have seen their living standards decrease in the face of inflation and stagnating real wages. There are record-breaking 14 centibillionaires [$100 billion] in the list.

 

 

Chase Peterson-Withorn, wealth editor at Forbes, told The Guardian that “the superrich continue to thrive” as people across the planet face higher prices of goods, cost-of-living crises, and the costs associated with increasingly frequent extreme weather events and the climate emergency.

 

Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH in France, currently holds the top slot on the Billionaires List with assets worth $233bn, while Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk with $195bn and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with $194bn are No. 2 and No. 3 on the list. Mukesh Ambani from India with net worth of $121bn is ranked No. 9.

 

The top 20, in the list have added a combined $700 billion in wealth since 2023, with the U.S., now having a record 813 billionaires worth a combined worth of $5.7 trillion. China remains second, with 473 (including Hong Kong) worth $1.7 trillion.

 

India sets another record on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list, with the stock market rally pushing a record 200 Indians on Forbes’ 2024 list of the World’s Billionaires—up from 169 last year. Their combined wealth is approaching a trillion dollars, with a record total of $954 billion—up 41% from $675 billion last year and well exceeding 2022’s total of $750 billion. The net worth of Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani shot up to $116 billion, from $83 billion, making him the first Asian to break into the exclusive $100 billion club. Ambani retained his position as the ninth richest person in the world and remains both India’s and Asia’s richest person.

 

The biggest gainer among Indian billionaires this year is infrastructure and commodities tycoon Gautam Adani, who added $36.8 billion to cement his position as India’s second wealthiest citizen. Adani clawed his way back into the top 20 wealthiest in the world to No.17 with a fortune of $84 billion.

 

Since the 1991 liberalisation reforms and the opening of the Indian economy to global markets seem to have made inequality a more salient issue as the number of Indians with net worth exceeding $1 billion increased from 1 in 1991 to 200 in 2024. According to a study, the top 1% of India’s population held 22.6% of the country’s income and 40.1% of wealth in 2022-’23. “The ‘Billionaire Raj’ headed by India’s modern bourgeoisie is now more unequal than the British Raj headed by the colonialist forces,” the authors of the study said.

 

The Forbes Billionaires List actually reveals how much of the wealth created by the billions around the world is captured by a tiny group of oligarchs rather than being used to benefit humanity as a whole. In response to Forbes Billionaires List, Daisy Pearson, campaigns and activism officer at Global Justice Now said:

 

“It is utterly unconscionable that at a time where masses of the world’s population are living in dire poverty, a few individuals are allowed to amass staggering wealth. This is only possible through exploitation, and their monopolisation of wealth and resources further allows them to amass huge power and influence over decisions that affect our everyday lives. Enough is enough – we should be regulating these barons out of existence.”

 

Also read :  India’s ‘Billionaire Raj’

 

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