Despite popular stories of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg leaving Harvard University to start Facebook, only 14% of billionaires drop out of college. However, we also note that only a third of billionaires come from the Ivy League. This essential statistic shows that influential entrepreneurs can come from any style of education, regardless of the name on a college jersey shirt. In the field of education, there is no plan for what a billionaire creates. Only 6% of billionaires have a PhD, and 16% have just finished high school.
At GCU, we see our students pursue this opportunity by enrolling in courses in engineering fields such as computer science and data analytics. Only 14% of billionaires have less than a college degree; while 52% have a bachelor’s degree, 27% a master’s degree and 7% a doctorate, GoCompare’s analysis revealed. Maybe they just want to make sure the money stays in the chain, but 88% of billionaires are married and tend to have more children than the average person. The average is two worldwide, but the average among billionaires is four.
Data from 2018 also includes the Wealth-X count of billionaires, which generally finds higher numbers than Forbes. Different authorities use different methodologies to determine and classify wealth, and not all personal financial information is publicly available. In 2019, Forbes counted a record number of 607 billionaires in the United States. Over the course of the 2020s, depending on the source and the year, it has been calculated that the richest person in the world is Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault and his family or Elon Musk. Musk’s rapid rise to the top of the billionaire ladder happened almost overnight, in October 2021, thanks to a pandemic-induced tech stock boom, with Tesla stock jumping to a nearly $10 billion a day rise.
That includes 169 “one-year miracles,” newcomers to the 2021 rankings, including Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd and Peloton’s John Foley, who debuted a year ago and has already fallen off the list. Between Forbes’ billionaire rankings in 2020 and 2021, 61 people lost their billionaire status. Among the notable billionaires who left the list is reality star-turned-entrepreneur Kylie Jenner. The coronavirus pandemic widened the wealth gap, with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
Today, the system has been severely eroded: many billionaires and billionaires pay a lower tax rate than average American families. The richest 1% pay an effective federal income tax rate of 24.7% in 2014; someone who earns an average of $75,000 pays a rate of 19.7%. The United States still has more billionaires than any other country, with 735, up from 724 last year.
China remains in second place, with 607, followed by India, Germany and Russia. Mukesh Ambani from India is still the richest person in Asia. This is a more complex program to estimate billionaire investor than the others considered on this page, as the cost would be continuous, rather than one-off, and the cost is highly variable depending on the size of the benefit provided.
After paying for this vaccination program, these people would still be $40 billion richer than they were before the pandemic. This loophole allows many self-employed people to use “S-companies” to avoid payroll taxes. Used by Newt Gingrich and John Edwards to avoid taxes, closing this loophole would require that this income be treated as salary rather than profit, making it subject to payroll taxes.
Who hasn’t thought about what life would be like with a billion dollars? It’s easy to fantasize about private jets, multimillion-dollar homes, and total financial freedom to spend your time on what makes you happiest, and these daydreams aren’t just in our heads. The dream of great wealth comes to life through TV shows like Succession and pop music about being rich.
According to the UBS/PwC Billionaires Report 2019, published in November 2019, there are currently 2,101 billionaires in U.S. dollars worldwide, from 66 countries, with a combined net worth of $8.5 trillion. Most billionaires are men, as less than 11% on the 2015 list were female billionaires. The United States has the highest number of billionaires of any country, with 536 as of 2015, while China, India and Russia home to 213, 90 and 88 billionaires, respectively.