Nearly 500 people became billionaires during the pandemic year

Covid-19 hasn’t stopped the spread of billionaires, who multiplied at an astounding rate over the past year. A record 493 people joined Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list this year—meaning the world on average gained a new billionaire every 17 hours since Forbes last took a snapshot of billionaire wealth on March 18, 2020. The previous record for most new billionaires in a year was 290 in 2015.

The average net worth of these 493 newcomers: $2 billion. Their average age: 54 (vs. 63 for the overall list of 2,755 billionaires). A full 84% of them are self-made billionaires, who founded their companies rather than inherited them (vs. 72% for the overall list).

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