The vast majority of this year’s billionaires Forbes list hail from these 10 sectors.
There are the record-breaking 2,755 billionaires in the world, according to Forbes‘2021. World list of billionaires. How did they acquire their wealth? Doing everything, from founding live funds and technology companies to raising pigs and kombucha beer.
But certain industries offer a more frequent path to wealth than others. The most likely way to make a billion dollars: get into finance and investment. That sector forged the most billionaires in the world, with 371 people or about 13% of the entire list. It was the main industry for billionaires in 2020 – the last time we tabulated the number of billionaires per industry – as well. The number of finance and investment billionaires has risen 50% in the past year, almost doubling from two years ago, with household names like Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, Carl Icahn and titanium hedge fund Ray Dalio. Still, there’s still room for newcomers, like the Winklevoss twins, who joined the list this year thanks to big stakes in cryptocurrency, and Jeff Yass, founder of trading company Susquehanna International.
Production ranked third this year, with 331 billionaires, 155 of whom come from China. The Asian country represents a growing percentage of billionaires worldwide Forbes‘It is estimated that almost 700 citizens (including Hong Kong and Macao) are on this year’s list, and the second largest after the richest American Chinese newcomer – Chen Zhiping, who is president and CEO of vaping device maker Smoore International – is a billionaire in manufacturing. From Europe, British inventor James Dyson and German shutter manufacturer Reinhold Wuerth rank high in the category. In the U.S., plumbing billionaire Herbert Kohler Jr. and the father-son duo behind Ashley Furniture are Ronald and Todd Wanek.
Despite quarantines, fashion and retail ranked fourth with 273 billionaires or 10% of this year’s list. Here you can find some of the most famous names in fashion fashion, including LVMH boss Bernard Arnault and brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, controllers of the fashion house Chanel. One notable newcomer: Kim Kardashian West, whose protective Skims clothing and KKW Beauty cosmetics and fragrance line helped her put her on this year’s list.
Below is a complete list of the top 10 industries in which billionaires have enriched their wealth:
# 1 | Finance and investment
371 billionaires 13% from the list
The richest: Warren Buffett ($ 96 billion), president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns stakes in over 60 companies, including Duracell and Dairy Queen.
# 2 | Technology
365 billionaires 13% from the list
The richest: Jeff Bezos ($ 177 billion), founder of e-commerce giant Amazon. The richest person in the world also owns Washington Post and the Blue Origin space company.
# 3 | Production
331 billionaires 12% from the list
The richest: He Xiangjian ($ 35 billion), founder of device manufacturer Midea Group. The company has more than 200 subsidiaries and trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
# 4 | Fashion and retail
273 billionaires 10% from the list
The richest: Bernard Arnault ($ 150 billion), president and CEO of LVMH. It oversees over 70 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Sephora.
# 5 | Healthcare
221 billionaires 8% from the list
The richest: Jiang Rensheng & family ($ 24.4 billion), president of the vaccine company Chongqing ZFSW Biological Products, known as Zhifei. The company is working on developing its own tuberculosis vaccines.
# 6 | Food
219 billionaires 8% from the list
The richest: Zhong Shanshan ($ 68.9 billion), president of the Nongfu Spring bottled water company. It also controls the publicly listed Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy.
# 7 | Real estate
215 billionaires 8% from the list
The richest: Lee Shau Kee ($ 31.7 billion), co-founder of investor Sun Hung Kai. Prior to that, Henderson Land Development began in 1976, which makes up most of his wealth.
# 8 | Diverse
188 billionaires 7% from the list
The richest: Mukesh Ambani ($ 84.5 billion), president of Reliance Industries. The company has interests in petrochemistry, oil and gas, retail and telecommunications.
# 9 | Energy
100 billionaires 4% from the list
The richest: Robin Zeng ($ 28.4 billion), founder and president of leading electric vehicle battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). BMW, Volkswagen and Geely are among the company’s customers.
# 10 | Media and entertainment
95 billionaires 3% from the list
The richest: Michael Bloomberg ($ 59 billion), co-founder of financial information and media company Bloomberg LP. He spent nearly a billion US dollars of his personal fortune on an unsuccessful candidacy for president in 2020.