As we delve into 2024, the landscape of global wealth continues to evolve, shaped by technological advancements, market fluctuations, and innovative business strategies. The world’s wealthiest individuals have not only maintained their fortunes but have seen significant growth in their net worth. 

Based on data from the Real-Time Billionaires List, let’s explore the top 10 richest people in the world as of 2024, examining their sources of wealth, business ventures, and recent developments.

1. Elon Musk (Net Worth: $205.4 billion)

Elon Musk, the South African-born entrepreneur, continues to hold the title of the world’s richest person in 2024. His wealth primarily stems from his leadership roles in Tesla and SpaceX, two companies that have revolutionized the automotive and aerospace industries respectively.

Tesla, under Musk’s guidance, has maintained its position as the world’s most valuable automaker. The company’s focus on electric vehicles and sustainable energy solutions has resonated with consumers and investors alike. In 2024, Tesla has expanded its product line and improved its manufacturing efficiency, further solidifying its market dominance.

SpaceX, Musk’s aerospace company, has made significant strides in space exploration and satellite internet technology. The Starlink project, aimed at providing global internet coverage, has seen rapid expansion and increased adoption worldwide.

Musk’s other ventures, including Neuralink (brain-computer interfaces) and The Boring Company (tunnel construction and transportation), continue to push the boundaries of technology and infrastructure. His acquisition and rebranding of Twitter to X has also been a significant focus, as he aims to transform the platform into an “everything app”.

Despite facing regulatory challenges and public scrutiny, Musk’s innovative spirit and ability to disrupt traditional industries have kept him at the forefront of global wealth rankings.

2. Jeff Bezos (Net Worth: $203.2 billion)

According to the Real-Time Billionaires List, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, holds the second spot on the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Although he stepped down as CEO of Amazon in 2021, Bezos remains executive chairman and continues to play a significant role in the company’s strategic decisions.

Amazon’s dominance in e-commerce and cloud computing through Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been the primary driver of Bezos’ wealth. In 2024, the company has further expanded its reach into new markets and technologies, including healthcare and artificial intelligence.

Beyond Amazon, Bezos has diversified his investments through his venture capital firm, Bezos Expeditions. He has shown particular interest in space exploration through his company Blue Origin, which competes with Musk’s SpaceX in the commercial space industry.

Bezos has also increased his philanthropic efforts, focusing on climate change, education, and homelessness through initiatives like the Bezos Earth Fund and the Day One Fund.

3. Bernard Arnault & family (Net Worth: $200.0 billion)

Bernard Arnault, the French business magnate, and his family continue to lead the luxury goods industry through their control of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). LVMH’s portfolio of over 70 prestigious brands across fashion, wines and spirits, perfumes and cosmetics, and watches and jewelry has maintained strong performance in 2024.

Under Arnault’s leadership, LVMH has focused on digital transformation and sustainability initiatives, adapting to changing consumer preferences and global challenges. The company has also made strategic acquisitions to strengthen its position in key markets.

Arnault’s business acumen and ability to navigate the luxury market’s complexities have solidified his family’s position among the world’s wealthiest. His children have taken on increasingly prominent roles within LVMH, ensuring the family’s continued influence in the luxury sector.

4. Mark Zuckerberg (Net Worth: $176.5 billion)

Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook), has seen his wealth grow significantly in 2024. Meta’s focus on the metaverse and virtual reality technologies has begun to pay off, with increased adoption of its VR hardware and software platforms.

Despite facing regulatory challenges and concerns over data privacy, Meta’s core social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) continue to attract billions of users worldwide. The company’s advertising business remains robust, benefiting from advanced targeting capabilities and the growing trend of digital marketing.

Zuckerberg’s leadership in artificial intelligence development has also positioned Meta as a key player in the AI industry, contributing to the company’s growth and his personal wealth.

5. Larry Ellison (Net Worth: $153.7 billion)

Larry Ellison’s net worth is $153.7 billion. He is the co-founder, executive chairman, and CTO of Oracle Corporation. Oracle’s strong performance in cloud computing and database management systems has been a significant factor in Ellison’s wealth growth.

In 2024, Oracle has expanded its cloud infrastructure and applications business, competing effectively with other tech giants. The company’s focus on AI and machine learning technologies has also contributed to its market position.

Ellison’s investments outside of Oracle, including his stake in Tesla and his ownership of the Hawaiian island of Lanai, have further diversified his wealth portfolio.

6. Larry Page (Net Worth: $145.1 billion)

Larry Page, co-founder of Google and board member of Alphabet Inc., has seen his wealth increase due to Alphabet’s continued dominance in the tech industry. Google’s core businesses, including search, advertising, and Android, remain strong revenue generators.

Alphabet’s investments in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles (through Waymo), and life sciences (through Verily) have positioned the company for future growth. Page’s wealth reflects the success of these diverse ventures.

7. Sergey Brin (Net Worth: $139.0 billion)

Sergey Brin, the other co-founder of Google and board member of Alphabet Inc., closely follows his partner Larry Page in the wealth rankings. Like Page, Brin’s fortune is largely tied to Alphabet’s performance and innovations.

Brin has shown particular interest in moonshot projects within Alphabet, including Google X (now X Development), which focuses on breakthrough technologies. His involvement in these cutting-edge initiatives continues to drive both technological advancements and his personal wealth.

8. Bill Gates (Net Worth: $131.0 billion)

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and renowned philanthropist, remains one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Although he has stepped back from day-to-day operations at Microsoft, his wealth continues to grow through diversified investments and the company’s strong performance.

Gates’ focus on global health, education, and climate change through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made him a leading figure in philanthropy. His investments in clean energy and sustainable technologies align with his mission to combat climate change.

In 2024, Gates has continued to advocate for pandemic preparedness and global health initiatives, leveraging his wealth and influence to address pressing global challenges.

9. Steve Ballmer (Net Worth: $126.5 billion)

Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, has seen his wealth grow significantly in recent years. Microsoft’s strong performance in cloud computing, productivity software, and gaming has contributed to the increase in Ballmer’s net worth.

Ballmer’s investments in sports and philanthropy, particularly through the Ballmer Group, have diversified his interests beyond the tech industry. His focus on improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States has made him a notable figure in social impact investing.

10. Warren Buffett (Net Worth: $121.0 billion)

Warren Buffett, often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” rounds out the top 10 list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. As CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s investment strategy and business acumen have consistently delivered value to shareholders.

In 2024, Berkshire Hathaway’s diverse portfolio of investments across insurance, energy, railroads, and consumer goods continues to perform well. Buffett’s value investing approach and long-term perspective have helped navigate market volatilities and economic challenges.

Buffett’s commitment to philanthropy, particularly through the Giving Pledge, has inspired many wealthy individuals to donate a significant portion of their wealth to charitable causes. His influence extends beyond finance, shaping discussions on wealth inequality and responsible capitalism.