As of October 1, the ranks of the wealthiest people on the planet include 9 self-made Americans and a French luxury goods tycoon.
Billionaires are the richest people in the world, and include in their ranks some of the most powerful on Earth, wielding significant influence over huge parts of the global economy and playing key roles in everything from international politics and media to philanthropy and scientific innovation.
Many have created companies that employ tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of employees around the world and are behind some of the best known brands, including Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, Google and Nike.
The majority are self-made, meaning they created their fortunes themselves, rather than inheriting them.
Others, like Rupert Murdoch and Mukesh Ambani, had a bit more of a leg up early on by joining their family businesses, but expanded their fortunes greatly and went on to create empires in their respective industries.
Forbes has been keeping track of the world’s billionaires since 1987. Earlier this year, we found 2,640 of them for our annual list.
Throughout the year, we update their fortunes on a daily basis. Many billionaires hold much of their net worth in the stock of the company they founded.
As that stock price moves, their fortune moves along with it.
For most of the first half of 2023, French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault was the world’s richest person, per Forbes—but that changed on June 8, 2023, when Tesla CEO Elon Musk overtook Arnault to become No. 1 in the world again, worth nearly $238 billion.
As of October 1, 2023, Musk is still the world’s richest person—a position he also held for much of 2022.
Arnault still clocks in at No. 2 richest, but he’s worth about $22 billion less than a month ago, as a result of a nearly 11% drop in the price of luxury goods group LVMH’s share price.
Arnault, the CEO and chairman of LVMH, has built the company into a behemoth with more than 70 brands, from Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior to Tiffany & Co. and Sephora.
Software tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle had a similar September. Though he’s held onto his rank at No. 4 richest, a 12% drop in Oracle shares during September wiped out some $16 billion from Ellison’s fortune.
Surging shares of Meta Platforms—which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp—pushed Mark Zuckerberg back up into the world’s top ten richest earlier this summer for the first time since January 2022.
As of October 1, Zuckerberg is the world’s eighth richest, worth $106.6 billion, up about $1.5 billion and up one spot in the ranking since the beginning of last month, per Forbes’ estimates. (Check out Forbes’ recent interview with Zuckerberg and his discussion of Meta’s two biggest risky bets—and getting punched in the face.)
Here are the 10 richest people in the world as of October 1, 2023 at 12 a.m. Eastern time, according to Forbes.
Stock prices fluctuate routinely, so these net worths of the world’s richest people may change on a daily basis. Forbes tracks the daily changes on our Real Time list of billionaires.
- Elon Musk is the richest person in the world, a position he held for much of 2022 as well.
- Bernard Arnault fell to No. 2 richest in early June 2023. He was the richest person in the world for the first five months of 2023.
- 9/10 of the richest people in the world are Americans, including Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison and Bill Gates.
- Gautam Adani of India fell from third richest in the world on January 24, 2023. He is ranked No. 24 in the world as of Sept. 1, 2023.
- All of the top ten richest people as of October 1 are men.
Who are the top 10 richest people in the world?*
- Elon Musk
- Bernard Arnault
- Jeff Bezos
- Larry Ellison
- Warren Buffett
- Larry Page
- Bill Gates
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Sergey Brin
- Steve Ballmer
*As of October 1, 2023 at 12 a.m. ET
1. Elon Musk
Net worth: $252.6B
Source: Tesla, SpaceX, X (Twitter)
Residence: Austin, Texas
Musk is CEO of electric car company Tesla, rocket firm SpaceX and social media company X, formerly known as Twitter. He owns 23% of Tesla between stock and options, but has pledged some of his stock as collateral for loans.
The car company accounts for about two-thirds of his fortune. He bought X, then known as Twitter, for $44 billion in October 2022 and owns an estimated 74% of the social media company, which is now worth less than half what he paid for it.
Originally from South Africa, Musk moved to Canada before his 18th birthday, worked a variety of jobs, enrolled at Queen’s University in Ontario and then transferred to University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.
In 2000, he merged an online bank he cofounded, X.com with a similar outfit cofounded by Peter Thiel to form PayPal, which eBay bought in 2002 for $1.4 billion. He founded SpaceX in 2002 in El Segundo, near Los Angeles.
In 2004 he joined Tesla as an investor and chairman, a year after it was founded; he was later granted the cofounder title. Musk, who became CEO of Tesla in 2008, took the company public in 2010.
Its market capitalization soared during 2020 and 2021. In September 2021, Musk became the world’s richest person.
In November 2021, his fortune peaked at a whopping $320 billion.
After dropping in the Forbes ranking, Musk became the world’s richest person again on June 8, 2023 and still ranks No. 1 on October 1. Tesla shares have risen nearly 130% since the start of the year, propelling Musk’s fortune higher.
Musk was also the world’s richest person for most of 2022—until December 2022, when a drop in Tesla’s share price pushed down the value of his fortune.
2. Bernard Arnault
Net worth: $187.6B
Source: LVMH/luxury goods
Bernard Arnault is CEO and chairman of LVMH, the largest luxury goods company in the world with some 70 fashion and cosmetics brands. Among its most notable: Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Moet & Chandon and Sephora.
In January 2021, LVMH acquired jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $15.8 billion.
Arnault’s father made millions in the construction business; to get his start, Arnault used $15 million of that fortune to buy Christian Dior.
All five of Arnault’s children work in parts of the LVMH empire. In January 2023, Arnault appointed his daughter Delphine to run Dior, the second largest brand in the group.
Arnault was the world’s richest person for most of the first half of 2023; he fell to No. 2 on June 8, 2023. As of October 1, Arnault is worth almost $22 billion less than a month ago, per Forbes’ estimates, following a nearly 11% drop in the the price of LVMH shares.
3. Jeff Bezos
Net worth: $150B
Residence: Medina, Washington
Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of e-commerce giant Amazon in July 2021 but remains chairman; that same month he went to space on a rocket built by private rocket company Blue Origin, which he founded and has funded with billions of dollars.
Between Sept. 1, 2023 and October 1, his fortune fell by nearly $11 billion as Amazon shares weakened about 8%.
Bezos founded online retailer Amazon.com in his garage in Seattle in 1994, after he left a job in New York at hedge fund D.E. Shaw. Amazon began as an online bookseller at a time when few people bought goods online.
The company grew to dominate cloud storage and moved into movie and series production to feed Amazon Prime Video.
Bezos overtook Bill Gates to top the list of richest people in the world in July 2017. He and Gates traded the number one and number two richest spots off and on.
Bezos was the world’s richest person on Forbes’ list of the World’s Billionaires from 2018 through 2021; he dropped to second richest on the 2022 billionaires list.
He dropped to fourth richest but moved back to No. 3 on January 25, 2023 as the fortune of India’s Gautam Adani (formerly No. 3 richest) fell.
In 2019, Bezos and his wife MacKenzie divorced; as part of the settlement, she got 4% of Amazon’s shares and he kept 12%. He has since sold more of his stake and owns just under 10% of the company.
Since Amazon went public in 1997, Forbes calculates that he has sold more than $27 billion worth of his stock. Through his Bezos Expeditions he has invested in an array of companies, including Airbnb and software firm Workday.
4. Larry Ellison
Net worth: $135.9 B
Residence: Woodside, California
Larry Ellison cofounded software firm Oracle in 1977 and ran it as CEO until 2014; he now serves as chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the company. Over the years Oracle has made a series of large acquisitions, buying Sun Microsystems in 2010.
In 2012, Ellison bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai for $300 million. He moved from California to Lanai in 2020.
Ellison invested in Tesla and served on the board of the car company from 2018 through August 2022.
For eight days in June 2023, Ellison overtook Jeff Bezos as the third richest person in the world following a rise in Oracle’s share price. Shares then receded and Ellison fell back to fourth richest. His fortune has declined by about $16.5 billion between September 1 and October 1, 2023.
5. Warren Buffett
Net worth: $117 B
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
Residence: Omaha, Nebraska
Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time, and one of the richest people in the world.
He runs investing conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, which owns dozens of companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen. The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.
Buffett created the Giving Pledge with Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates in 2010, asking billionaires to commit to give away at least half their fortune to charitable groups. Buffett has said he would donate 99% of his fortune.
So far he’s donated $51.5 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Gates Foundation and his kids’ foundations. That makes him the most generous billionaire on the planet.
Despite giving away $4.6 billion worth of his Berkshire Hathaway shares in mid-June, his fortune rose by more than $6 billion in July. Between September 1 and October 1, it fell by $3.3 billion.
6. Larry Page
Net worth: $110.2 B
Residence: Palo Alto, California
Page cofounded search engine Google with fellow Stanford PhD student Sergey Brin in 1998 and served as CEO until 2001 and from 2011 to 2015. He now serves as a board member of Google’s parent Alphabet and continues to be a controlling shareholder.
Page was a founding investor in asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, which was acquired by blockchain firm ConsenSys in 2018.
He moved into the top 10 richest in the world following a notable 15% jump in the share price of Alphabet in May 2023. His fortune rose nearly $10 billion in July, Forbes estimated.
Between September 1 and October 1, Page’s fortune fell by about $5 billion as Alphabet shares dropped about 4%.
7. Bill Gates
Net worth: $108 B
Source: Microsoft, investments
Residence: Medina, Washington
As a teenager, Gates became passionate about computer programming. He dropped out of Harvard to cofound software firm Microsoft with his high school friend Paul Allen in 1975, creating one of the first software programs available for the nascent personal computer industry.
He was CEO of the company for 25 years and remained chairman until 2014. He eventually stepped off the board in 2020 but told Forbes in early 2023 that he still spends about 10% of his time consulting with teams at Microsoft.
These days he has investments in dozens of companies, including waste removal firm Republic Services and agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co., and is one of the largest owners of farmland in the U.S.
Forbes first listed Gates as a billionaire in 1987; he was the richest person in the world from 1995 through 2017 (except in 2008 and from 2010 through 2013).
Largely due to the $59 billion he has donated to the Gates Foundation, including a $20 billion gift in July 2022, he was overtaken as the world’s richest person in 2018 by Jeff Bezos, but has remained one of the world’s richest people.
He and Melinda French Gates divorced in 2021; she received at least $6 billion in stock as part of the divorce settlement.
8. Mark Zuckerberg
Net worth: 106.6 B
Residence: Palo Alto, California
Zuckerberg cofounded Facebook—now called Meta Platforms—when he was a student at Harvard University in 2004. It has grown to be the world’s largest social network, with 3.88 billion monthly users.
The company also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, which it acquired. Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, took the company public in 2012 and still owns about 13% of it.
He and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged to direct 99% of their stock in the company toward measures that promote human potential.
One effort is to develop tools to help others cure, manage or prevent all disease; Zuckerberg and Chan spoke to Forbes earlier this year about their philanthropic efforts. And Zuckerberg talked to Forbes in September about Meta’s two biggest bets and more ahead of the company turning 20.
Zuckerberg rejoined the world’s top 10 richest earlier this summer for the first time since January 2022, as the result of a rise in the price of Meta’s stock. During the month of September, his fortune rose by an estimated $1.6 billion and he moved from No. 9 to No. 8 richest.
9. Sergey Brin
Net worth: $105.9 B
Residence: Los Altos, California
Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet, parent company of Google, in December 2019 but remains a controlling shareholder and a board member.
He cofounded Google with Larry Page in 1998 after the two met at Stanford University while studying for advanced degrees in computer science, which would lead them to becoming two of the world’s richest people.
Brin, who came to the U.S. from Russia with his family when he was 6 years old to escape anti-Semitism, is the richest immigrant in America. He serves as a board member of Google’s parent Alphabet and continues to be a controlling shareholder.
His fortune fell by an estimated $5 billion during September 2023.
10. Steve Ballmer
Net worth: $97.1 B
Source: Microsoft, investments
Residence: Hunts Point, Washington
Ballmer, a classmate of Bill Gates’ at Harvard University, ran Microsoft as its CEO from 2000 to 2014. He joined Microsoft as employee number 30 in 1980 after dropping out of the MBA program at Stanford University.
The year that Ballmer retired from Microsoft, he purchased the Los Angeles Clippers team for $2 billion—a record high for an NBA team at the time. Forbes now values the team at $3.9 billion.
Ballmer’s fortune fell by nearly $4 billion in the past month partly due to a slight decline in the price on Microsoft shares.
Who is the richest man in the world?
As of October 1, 2023, the richest man in the world is Elon Musk, the CEO of electric car company Tesla; he’s worth an estimated $250 billion. He moved into the number one spot in June this year, overtaking Bernard Arnault of France.
Who is the richest woman in the world?
The richest woman in the world is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers of France. As of October 1, 2023, she is worth an estimated $83.4 billion and is the 15th in the list of richest people.
Her fortune lies in her ownership of shares in cosmetics giant L’Oreal, which she inherited from her late mother. Her grandfather was the founder of L’Oreal.
This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.