Meet The 80 People Who Are As Rich As Half The World

February 15, 2015

 By Mona Chalabi

Eighty people hold the same amount of wealth as the world’s 3.6 billion poorest people, according to an analysis just released from Oxfam. The report from the global anti-poverty organization finds that since 2009, the wealth of those 80 richest has doubled in nominal terms — while the wealth of the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population has fallen.

To see how much wealth the richest 1 percent and the poorest 50 percent hold, Oxfam used research from Credit Suisse, a Swiss financial services company, and Forbes’s annual billionaires list. Oxfam then looked at how many of the world’s richest people would need to pool their resources to have as much wealth as the poorest 50 percent — and as of March 2014, it was just 80 people.

Four years earlier, 388 billionaires together held as much wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the world.

Thirty-five of the 80 richest people in the world are U.S. citizens, with combined wealth of $941 billion in 2014. Together in second place are Germany and Russia, with seven mega-rich individuals apiece. The entire list is dominated by one gender, though — 70 of the 80 richest people are men. And 68 of the people on the list are 50 or older.

If those 80 individuals were to bump into each on Svenborgia, what might they talk about? Retail could be a good conversation starter — 14 of the 80 got their wealth that way. Or they could discuss “extractives” (industries like oil, gas and mining, to which 11 of them owe their fortunes), finance (also 11 of them) or tech (10 of them).

There might be some quiet voices in the room, though, because 11 of the wealthiest people on the planet were simply born into their money (19 others inherited their wealth and then made it grow). The remaining 50 names on the list, according to Forbes, are self-made billionaires.

Oxfam notes that global wealth inequality is increasing while the rich get richer. If trends continue, the organization projects that the richest 1 percent of people will have more wealth than the remaining 99 percent by 2016.

Here’s the list of the 80 people with as much wealth as the world’s poorest 3.6 billion people:

RANK
NAME
2014 WEALTH (BILLIONS)
COUNTRY
SELF-MADE?
SECTOR
1 Bill Gates $76 USA Tech
2 Carlos Slim Helu $72 Mexico Telecom
3 Amancio Ortega $64 Spain Retail
4 Warren Buffett $58 USA Finance
5 Larry Ellison $48 USA Tech
6 Charles Koch $40 USA Diversified
7 David Koch $40 USA Diversified
8 Sheldon Adelson $38 USA Entertainment
9 Christy Walton $37 USA Retail
10 Jim Walton $35 USA Retail
11 Liliane Bettencourt $35 France Product
12 Stefan Persson $34 Sweden Retail
13 Alice Walton $34 USA Retail
14 S. Robson Walton $34 USA Retail
15 Bernard Arnault $34 France Luxury
16 Michael Bloomberg $33 USA Finance
17 Larry Page $32 USA Tech
18 Jeff Bezos $32 USA Retail
19 Sergey Brin $32 USA Tech
20 Li Ka-shing $31 Hong Kong Diversified
21 Mark Zuckerberg $29 USA Tech
22 Michele Ferrero $27 Italy Food
23 Aliko Dangote $25 Nigeria Commodities
24 Karl Albrecht $25 Germany Retail
25 Carl Icahn $25 USA Finance
26 George Soros $23 USA Finance
27 David Thomson $23 Canada Media
28 Lui Che Woo $22 Hong Kong Entertainment
29 Dieter Schwarz $21 Germany Retail
30 Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud $20 Saudi Arabia Finance
31 Forrest Mars Jr. $20 USA Food
32 Jacqueline Mars $20 USA Food
33 John Mars $20 USA Food
34 Jorge Paulo Lemann $20 Brazil Drinks
35 Lee Shau Kee $20 Hong Kong Diversified
36 Steve Ballmer $19 USA Tech
37 Theo Albrecht Jr. $19 Germany Retail
38 Leonardo Del Vecchio $19 Italy Luxury
39 Len Blavatnik $19 USA Diversified
40 Alisher Usmanov $19 Russia Extractives
41 Mukesh Ambani $19 India Extractives
42 Masayoshi Son $18 Japan Telecom
43 Michael Otto $18 Germany Retail
44 Phil Knight $18 USA Retail
45 Tadashi Yanai $18 Japan Retail
46 Gina Rinehart $18 Australia Extractives
47 Mikhail Fridman $18 Russia Extractives
48 Michael Dell $18 USA Tech
49 Susanne Klatten $17 Germany Cars
50 Abigail Johnson $17 USA Finance
51 Viktor Vekselberg $17 Russia Metals
52 Lakshmi Mittal $17 India Metals
53 Vladimir Lisin $17 Russia Transport
54 Cheng Yu-tung $16 Hong Kong Diversified
55 Joseph Safra $16 Brazil Finance
56 Paul Allen $16 USA Tech
57 Leonid Mikhelson $16 Russia Extractives
58 Anne Cox Chambers $16 USA Media
59 Francois Pinault $16 France Retail
60 Iris Fontbona $16 Chile Extractives
61 Azim Premji $15 India Tech
62 Mohammed Al Amoudi $15 Saudi Arabia Extractives
63 Gennady Timchenko $15 Russia Extractives
64 Wang Jianlin $15 China Real Estate
65 Charles Ergen $15 USA Telecom
66 Stefan Quandt $15 Germany Cars
67 Germán Larrea Mota Velasco $15 Mexico Extractives
68 Harold Hamm $15 USA Extractives
69 Ray Dalio $14 USA Finance
70 Donald Bren $14 USA Real Estate
71 Georg Schaeffler $14 Germany Product
72 Luis Carlos Sarmiento $14 Colombia Finance
73 Ronald Perelman $14 USA Finance
74 Laurene Powell Jobs $14 USA Entertainment
75 Serge Dassault $14 France Aviation
76 John Fredriksen $14 Cyprus Transport
77 Vagit Alekperov $14 Russia Extractives
78 John Paulson $14 USA Finance
79 Rupert Murdoch $14 USA Media
80 Ma Huateng $13 China Tech

Source: Forbes, OxfamΦ

Mona Chalabi is the lead writer for DataLab.

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