What Is a Billionaire?
The term billionaire describes an individual with a net worth of at least one billion units in their native currency, such as dollars or euros. The assets can range from cash and cash equivalents to real estate, business, and personal property. Since 1987, Forbes has ranked the wealthiest global citizens according to their net worth.
- A billionaire has a net worth of at least one billion units in their native currency.
- Billionaires can have a variety of assets, including cash and cash equivalents, real estate, and business and personal property.
- Forbes has been ranking the world's billionaires since 1987.
Calculating Net Worth
In the United States, a billionaire is a person with a net wealth of a billion dollars, $1,000,000,000, one thousand times greater than a millionaire, $1,000,000. Billionaires in other countries are defined by monetary units in currencies such as euros. A billionaire in the eurozone has a net worth of €1 billion, while someone in the United Kingdom has £1 billion or more.
Subtracting liabilities from assets calculates an individual's net worth. A billionaire's assets may include cash and liquid investments, personal property such as real estate, jewelry, and cars. Business interests, such as equipment and commercial properties, are also included if the individual holds a personal stake in a corporation.
A deca-billionaire has more than $10 billion, while a centi-billionaire has more than $100 billion in net wealth.
Forbes magazine publishes a list of the world's billionaires every year. When Forbes produced the first list in 1987, there were 140 billionaires.According to Forbes' 2023 report, the United States has the most billionaires, with 735 list members worth a collective $4.5 trillion. Globally, there are 2,640 billionaires.
Bernard Arnault, of France, tops the Forbes list. Elon Musk ranks second globally and the highest in the United States, with a net worth of $169 billion in April 2023. Elon Musk cofounded six companies, including electric car maker Tesla and SpaceX. In October of 2022, Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter, now X Corp., for $44 billion.
Readers can isolate names on the Forbes billionaire list by country, industry, and age group. Data is available in an online real-time format.
Which Countries Have the Most Billionaires?
In 2023, the United States had the most billionaires, 735. China ranked second with 562, and India ranked third with 169.
Who Ranked First on Forbes' Original 1987 Billionaires List?
Yoshiaki Tsutsumi of Japan ranked first in 1987.
Who Are the Top Three Billionaires in the United States?
In 2023, the top three billionaires in the U.S. are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Ellison.
The Bottom Line
A billionaire has a net worth of at least one billion units in their native currency, such as dollars or euros. Net worth is calculated as assets minus liabilities or debts. A billionaire's assets may include cash and cash equivalents, real estate, and business and personal property. Forbes has been ranking the world's billionaires since 1987. In 2023, the United States had the most billionaires globally.