World’s first trillionaire could be crowned within a decade

January 16, 2024 | by


In a groundbreaking discovery, the anti-poverty organization Oxfam International has predicted that the world’s first trillionaire could emerge within the next decade. The annual assessment of global inequalities conducted by Oxfam reveals that the wealth gap has been significantly widened since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The fortunes of the top five billionaires, including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, have surged by 114% since 2020, while nearly 5 billion people have experienced a decline in their wealth. Oxfam’s report underscores the urgent need for efforts to combat inequality, with calls for increased taxation of the wealthiest individuals and corporations. As the world teeters on the precipice of a “decade of division,” this forecast sheds light on the alarming disparities between the super-rich and the rest of the global population.

Worlds first trillionaire could be crowned within a decade

Table of Contents

The World’s First Trillionaire

Oxfam predicts the first trillionaire within a decade

Oxfam International, an anti-poverty organization, has stated in its annual assessment of global inequalities that the world could witness the rise of its first trillionaire within the next ten years. This prediction comes as Oxfam aims to shed light on the growing disparities between the super-rich and the majority of the global population, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the organization, the fortunes of the five richest men in the world have seen a significant spike since 2020, further exacerbating the existing wealth gap.

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The growing disparities between the super-rich and the global population

Oxfam’s assessment reveals a supercharged gap between the super-rich and the global population. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly worsened this gap as the world continues to grapple with the economic fallout caused by the virus. The fortunes of the five richest men, including Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Bernard Arnault of luxury company LVMH, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, and investment guru Warren Buffett, have increased by 114% since 2020. Meanwhile, nearly 5 billion people have slipped into poverty, highlighting the increasing wealth divide.

Fortunes of the five richest men have spiked since the pandemic

As the world faced the challenges posed by the pandemic, the fortunes of the top five billionaires experienced significant growth. The wealth of Elon Musk, currently the richest man in the world, has surged to just under $250 billion. These figures, compiled by Forbes, demonstrate the extent to which the super-rich have benefited during this period of global crisis. In contrast, billions of people around the world have seen a decline in their financial circumstances, further underscoring the widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

The Supercharged Gap

Oxfam’s assessment of global inequalities

Oxfam’s annual assessment reveals a stark reality of global inequalities, particularly in regard to wealth distribution. The organization underscores how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these disparities, with the super-rich amassing even greater fortunes while a significant portion of the global population is pushed into poverty. This growing gap presents a challenge for global economies and societies, requiring proactive measures to address and rectify this imbalance.

Gap between the super-rich and the global population

The gap between the super-rich and the rest of the global population has reached alarming levels. Oxfam’s report highlights that while a small minority has experienced exponential growth in their wealth, billions of people around the world have been left behind, struggling to meet their basic needs. This disparity not only poses a threat to social cohesion but also hinders sustainable economic development.

Disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching ramifications, particularly in exacerbating existing inequalities. Lockdown measures, economic downturns, and limited access to healthcare and financial support have disproportionately affected marginalized communities, pushing them further into poverty. The pandemic has laid bare the vulnerabilities in our global systems and serves as a reminder of the urgent need to address social and economic inequalities.

Financial support offered by richer nations

One striking observation made by Oxfam is the unequal deployment of financial support by richer nations during the pandemic. While wealthier countries were able to provide substantial economic relief to their citizens, many developing nations were unable to do the same due to limited resources. As a result, the gap between nations has widened, perpetuating the global wealth disparity.

The Top Billionaires

The five richest men in the world

The global wealth distribution is heavily concentrated among a few individuals, with the five richest men currently holding a significant share of the world’s wealth. These individuals, including Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, and Warren Buffett, have seen their fortunes grow exponentially in recent years, further widening the wealth gap.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, is currently the richest man in the world. His personal fortune is estimated to be just under $250 billion, according to Forbes. Musk’s success has been primarily fueled by the soaring valuation of Tesla, as well as his ventures in other innovative industries such as aerospace and renewable energy.

Bernard Arnault and his family of luxury company LVMH

Bernard Arnault, along with his family, leads the luxury conglomerate LVMH. With a diverse portfolio of high-end brands, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Moët Hennessy, Arnault has amassed considerable wealth. His influence extends beyond the luxury sector, making him one of the most prominent figures in the global business landscape.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is renowned for his entrepreneurial success and the growth of the e-commerce giant. Bezos relinquished his position as the richest person in the world to Elon Musk but continues to hold vast wealth. Amazon’s dominance in the retail industry has propelled Bezos to unprecedented levels of affluence.

Oracle founder Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, has long been recognized as a technology and business visionary. His leadership of the software giant has cemented his status as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Ellison’s business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit have played a pivotal role in his accumulation of vast personal wealth.

Investment guru Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” is renowned for his investment prowess and long-term value-driven approach. As the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has amassed significant wealth through his successful investment strategies. His influence and philanthropic efforts have made him one of the most respected figures in the financial world.

The Trillion-Dollar Milestone

Potential candidates for the world’s first trillionaire

Oxfam predicts that the world’s first trillionaire could emerge within the next decade. While the exact identity of this individual remains uncertain, it is likely that they are not currently included in any list of the richest people in the world. This milestone would position the trillionaire’s wealth on par with the value of oil-rich Saudi Arabia, highlighting the extent of global wealth concentration.


Comparison to the value of oil-rich Saudi Arabia

A trillion-dollar fortune would place an individual’s wealth on the same scale as the value of oil-rich Saudi Arabia. This stark comparison underscores the unprecedented levels of wealth accumulation by a select few individuals, raising questions about income inequality and the distribution of resources on a global scale.

John D. Rockefeller as the first billionaire

John D. Rockefeller, the famous American industrialist, is widely acknowledged as the world’s first billionaire. In 1916, Rockefeller achieved this milestone, amassing an immense fortune through his oil-related ventures. Since then, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few has accelerated significantly leading to the possibility of a trillionaire emerging in the near future.

The Wealth of Elon Musk

Elon Musk as the current richest man

Elon Musk is currently recognized as the wealthiest person in the world. With a personal fortune of just under $250 billion, Musk’s wealth has soared in recent years, primarily driven by the success of Tesla. His entrepreneurial achievements have propelled him to the pinnacle of global wealth, making him a symbol of the widening wealth gap.

Personal fortune of just under $250 billion

The personal fortune of Elon Musk stands at approximately $250 billion, placing him at the forefront of the super-rich. This accumulation of wealth has been attributed to the remarkable growth of Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer that Musk founded. As the company’s market valuation skyrocketed, so did Musk’s personal wealth.

Figures used from Forbes

Oxfam’s assessment of Elon Musk’s wealth is based on figures provided by Forbes, a renowned publication that tracks the net worth of prominent individuals. Forbes’ meticulous analysis of Musk’s assets and investments enables a comprehensive evaluation of his personal fortune and its significance within the context of global wealth disparities.

The Impact of the Pandemic

Negative effects on the global population’s wealth

The coronavirus pandemic and its associated economic disruptions have had a detrimental impact on the wealth of the global population. Lockdown measures, business closures, and job losses have contributed to a decline in individuals’ financial well-being. The most significant impact has been felt by those already living in poverty, exacerbating existing inequalities.

Nearly 5 billion people became poorer

According to Oxfam’s report, almost 5 billion people have experienced a decrease in their wealth since the onset of the pandemic. This alarming statistic highlights the disproportionate impact of the crisis on vulnerable communities, with many individuals struggling to meet their basic needs and lacking access to crucial financial support.

Financial support disparities between nations

One notable observation made by Oxfam is the disparity in financial support between wealthier nations and developing countries during the pandemic. While richer nations were able to deploy substantial economic relief to their citizens, many countries with limited resources were unable to provide the same level of support. This disparity further widens the wealth gap and aggravates existing inequalities.

Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Impact on energy and food costs

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 had far-reaching consequences, including a significant escalation in energy and food costs. The invasion disrupted supply chains, leading to increased prices for essential commodities. The rising cost of energy and food had a profound impact on the poorest nations, exacerbating their economic challenges and widening the wealth gap.

Disproportionate effect on the poorest nations

The fallout from the invasion of Ukraine disproportionately affected the poorest nations around the world. These nations, already grappling with economic and social challenges, were less equipped to endure the financial strain brought about by the surge in energy and food prices. This further deepened the inequality divide, emphasizing the need for collective action to address global disparities.

Brazil and Inequalities

Brazil hosting the Group of 20 summit

As Brazil prepared to host the Group of 20 (G20) summit, the international community focused its attention on the country’s efforts to address global inequalities. The G20 summit provided a platform for discussions on crucial issues, including economic disparities and social inequalities. At this meeting, organizations like Oxfam seized the opportunity to raise awareness about the urgent need for action.

Opportunity for Oxfam to raise awareness about inequalities

The G20 summit offered Oxfam an ideal forum to raise awareness about the urgent and pressing issue of global inequalities. By leveraging the international attention directed towards Brazil and the G20 discussions, Oxfam sought to draw attention to the structural barriers perpetuating poverty and the need for substantive change to rectify these imbalances.

Focus on issues concerning the developing world

With Brazil assuming a central role in hosting the G20 summit, there was an increased emphasis on addressing issues that particularly affect the developing world. Oxfam’s presence and advocacy aimed to shine a spotlight on the unique challenges faced by marginalized communities in developing nations, urging global leaders to prioritize these issues in the global development agenda.

Addressing Inequality

Inequality-busting measures proposed by Oxfam

Oxfam has proposed a range of measures to address the pressing issue of inequality on a global scale. These measures encompass both systematic changes and policy interventions aimed at tackling the root causes of wealth concentration and poverty. By implementing these strategies, Oxfam aims to foster economic justice and create a more equitable world.

Permanent taxation of the wealthiest in every country

One key recommendation put forth by Oxfam is the permanent taxation of the wealthiest individuals in every country. By ensuring that the super-rich contribute their fair share to society, governments can generate much-needed revenue to invest in social welfare programs and alleviate poverty.

Effective taxation of big corporations

Oxfam also advocates for effective taxation of large corporations as a means to address income inequality. By closing loopholes and implementing robust tax policies, governments can ensure that corporations pay their fair share, thereby redistributing wealth and resources more equitably.

Renewed drive against tax avoidance

Another crucial aspect of Oxfam’s inequality-busting approach involves a renewed and intensified effort to combat tax avoidance. Oxfam calls for stricter measures to ensure that corporations and wealthy individuals cannot exploit legal loopholes to evade their tax obligations. By cracking down on tax avoidance, governments can enhance their revenue streams and allocate resources towards poverty reduction.

Impact on Global Population

Calculation of the bottom 60% of the global population

To evaluate the impact of global inequalities, Oxfam conducted a calculation focusing on the wealth distribution in the bottom 60% of the global population. By analyzing figures from the UBS Global Wealth Report 2023 and the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2019, Oxfam provides insights into the wealth disparities that exist across different strata of society.

Figures used from wealth reports

Oxfam’s evaluation of wealth disparities relies on reputable wealth reports such as the UBS Global Wealth Report and the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook. These reports utilize robust methodologies to analyze and compare global wealth distribution, serving as valuable resources for understanding the complex dynamics of global inequality.

Methodology of measurement and comparison

The measurement and comparison of global wealth distribution involve intricate methodologies that take into account a multitude of factors, including asset valuation, income disparities, and regional wealth distribution. Oxfam’s assessment draws upon these methodologies to provide a comprehensive analysis of the state of global inequalities and the impact on different sections of society.

In conclusion, the world is on the cusp of witnessing the emergence of its first trillionaire within the next decade. Oxfam’s assessment of global inequalities highlights the widening gap between the super-rich and the global population, particularly exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The fortunes of the top billionaires have surged, while billions of people have slipped into poverty. Addressing these disparities requires a concerted effort by governments, organizations, and individuals to implement systemic changes and policies aimed at fostering economic justice and reducing income inequality.


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