June 20, 2022

The number of billionaires in the world and their collective net worth dropped in 2022, according to Forbes. The war in Ukraine, COVID-19, and the stock market correction have all hit the billionaires big.

I know, boo hoo.

Please know, this isn’t an attempt to solicit sympathy for the world’s richest people. It’s just interesting to keep an eye on what’s happening with them.

So, there are 2,668 billionaires in the world this year. That’s 87 less than a year ago. They lost $400 billion in net worth but are still able to squeak by with $12.7 trillion collectively to their names. This is a decline from a record high $13.1 trillion in 2021.

One of the most dramatic drops occurred in China, where a government crackdown on tech companies along with weak stock and real estate performance led to 87 fewer Chinese billionaires. And in Russia, there are 34 fewer billionaires than last year, following the invasion of Ukraine.

But still, Forbes found there are more than 1,000 billionaires who are richer than they were a year ago. And 236 new people have become billionaires over the past year.

The U.S. still leads the way with 735 billionaires worth a collective $4.7 trillion. That group includes Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, who tops the list for the first time. He replaced Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder.

Forbes said the decline in the total number of billionaires was the largest drop since the 2009 financial crisis. So, between all these hardships, it was a tough year for them, all in all.

But don’t shed any tears. These billionaires will find a way to make it work.