July 21, 2024
Forbs 400 richest americans

Forbes 400: A Snapshot of the Richest Americans in 2023

The Forbes 400 is an annual list of the richest Americans, ranked by their net worth. The list, which was first published in 1982 by Malcolm Forbes, is based on the stock prices and exchange rates from September 8, 2023. The list reveals some interesting facts and figures about the wealth and philanthropy of the American elite.

Forbs 400 richest americans

The Numbers

The total net worth of the Forbes 400 in 2023 is $4.5 trillion, tying a record set in 2021. The average net worth of the list members is $11.3 billion, up from $10.9 billion in 2022. The minimum net worth required to make the cut is $2.9 billion, also tying a record from 2021. There are 18 newcomers and 11 returnees to the list, while 16 people dropped out due to death, divorce, or decline in fortune.

The Top 10 Richest Americans

The top 10 richest Americans are:

  • Elon Musk ($251 billion), the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, who remains the richest person in the world and in America for the second year in a row.
  • Jeff Bezos ($161 billion), the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, who lost the top spot to Musk in January 2023 after his divorce from MacKenzie Scott was finalized.
  • Larry Ellison ($158 billion), the cofounder and chief technology officer of Oracle, who added $57 billion to his fortune in the past year, more than anyone else on the list, thanks to the surge in demand for artificial intelligence (AI) software and services.
  • Warren Buffett ($121 billion), the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who regained his spot as the fourth richest American after slipping to sixth place in 2022.
  • Larry Page ($114 billion), the cofounder and board member of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, who saw his wealth increase by $24 billion as Alphabet launched a suite of AI tools in May 2023.
  • Bill Gates ($111 billion), the cofounder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who lost $5 billion in his divorce from Melinda French Gates in May 2023.
  • Sergey Brin ($110 billion), the cofounder and board member of Alphabet, who also benefited from the AI boom and added $23 billion to his net worth.
  • Mark Zuckerberg ($106 billion), the cofounder and CEO of Facebook, who faced regulatory scrutiny and public backlash over his company’s role in spreading misinformation and hate speech online.
  • Steve Ballmer ($101 billion), the former CEO of Microsoft and the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, who became the ninth American to join the $100 billion club.
  • Michael Bloomberg ($96.3 billion), the founder and CEO of Bloomberg LP, a financial data and media company, and a former mayor of New York City.

The Indian Americans

The Forbes 400 list also features some notable Indian Americans, such as:

  • Rakesh Gangwal ($6.8 billion), the cofounder and former CEO of IndiGo, India’s largest airline, who ranks at No. 122 on the list.
  • Romesh Wadhwani ($6.7 billion), the founder and chairman of Symphony Technology Group, a private equity firm that invests in software companies, who ranks at No. 124 on the list.
  • Vinod Khosla ($5.9 billion), the cofounder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures, a venture capital firm that backs startups in fields such as biotechnology, clean energy, and AI, who ranks at No. 141 on the list.
  • Niraj Shah ($5.4 billion), the cofounder and CEO of Wayfair, an online retailer of home goods and furniture, who ranks at No. 156 on the list.
  • Kavitark Ram Shriram ($4.8 billion), an early investor in Google and a board member of Alphabet, who ranks at No. 180 on the list.

The Philanthropists

The Forbes 400 list also measures the philanthropic impact of its members by assigning them a philanthropy score from one to five, based on their lifetime giving as a percentage of their current net worth. According to Forbes, only 29 members of the list have a score of five, meaning they have given away more than 20% of their wealth. Some of them are:

  • MacKenzie Scott ($37.1 billion), who ranks at No. 21 on the list and has a score of five for donating more than $8 billion to various causes since her divorce from Jeff Bezos in 2019.
  • Warren Buffett ($121 billion), who ranks at No. 4 on the list and has a score of five for pledging to give away more than 99% of his wealth to philanthropy during his lifetime or at death.
  • Bill Gates ($111 billion), who ranks at No. 6 on the list and has a score of five for donating more than $50 billion to his foundation and other charitable organizations over the years.
  • George Soros ($8.6 billion), who ranks at No. 105 on the list and has a score of five for giving away more than $32 billion to his Open Society Foundations, which support democracy and human rights around the world.
  • Pierre Omidyar ($21.4 billion), who ranks at No. 36 on the list and has a score of five for creating the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm that supports social entrepreneurs and nonprofits.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Forbes 400 list:

  • Q: How is the Forbes 400 list compiled?
  • A: The Forbes 400 list is compiled by a team of reporters and editors who track the fortunes of the richest Americans throughout the year. They use public sources such as SEC filings, court records, probate documents, and news reports, as well as private sources such as interviews, surveys, and estimates from experts. They also contact the list members or their representatives to verify their net worth and philanthropy.
  • Q: What are the criteria for inclusion in the Forbes 400 list?
  • A: The Forbes 400 list includes only U.S. citizens or residents who have made their fortunes in America or have a significant stake in an American company. They also have to be alive as of September 8, 2023, the date of the calculation of their net worth. The list excludes those who inherited their wealth from previous generations, unless they have actively increased or diversified their fortunes.
  • Q: What are the sources of wealth for the Forbes 400 list members?
  • A: The Forbes 400 list members have amassed their wealth from various sectors and industries, such as technology, finance, media, retail, real estate, energy, health care, entertainment, sports, and more. The most common source of wealth is technology, with 98 list members deriving their fortunes from this sector. The second most common source is finance and investments, with 57 list members. The third most common source is media and entertainment, with 37 list members.
  • Q: What are the trends and changes in the Forbes 400 list over the years?
  • A: The Forbes 400 list has evolved over the years, reflecting the changing dynamics of the global economy and society. Some of the notable trends and changes are:
    • The rise of self-made billionaires: In 1982, only 13% of the list members were self-made billionaires, meaning they built their fortunes from scratch or from modest beginnings. In 2023, that number has increased to 71%, showing that America is still a land of opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators.
    • The dominance of tech giants: In 1982, only one tech company was represented on the list: IBM. In 2023, six of the top 10 richest Americans are from tech companies: Tesla, Amazon, Oracle, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook. These companies have revolutionized various fields such as transportation, e-commerce, cloud computing, AI, software, and social media.
    • The challenges of inequality and climate change: In 1982, the total net worth of the Forbes 400 was $91 billion, equivalent to $259 billion in today’s dollars. In 2023, the total net worth of the Forbes 400 is $4.5 trillion, equivalent to more than 17 times that amount. This shows that the wealth gap between the richest and the rest has widened significantly over the years. Moreover, many of the Forbes 400 members have contributed to or been affected by climate change, either by emitting greenhouse gases, investing in clean energy, or facing natural disasters.

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