Who is the richest person in the world: Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos?

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have battled it out in 2021 for the title of the richest person in the world

There is no disputing that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are among the wealthiest people on the planet. However, because the personal fortunes of these two self-made billionaires are dependent on their stakes in their companies and other investments, their net worths can rise and fall with the stock market. However, here's what we know about who the richest person in the world is, as of December 2021.

Who is the richest person in the world?

Although Forbes named Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world in October 2021 with an estimated net worth of $177 billion, by December 2021, just two months later, Elon Musk had surged ahead. Forbes estimated that the Tesla CEO had added another $110 billion to his personal wealth at the end of 2021, due to several factors, including increases in Tesla's stock price and SpaceX's valuation. This now makes Musk, not Bezos, the current richest person in the world, with a net worth that's thought to be somewhere around $266 billion.

Elon Musk

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reported to have added $110 billion to his personal fortune at the end of 2021. (Reuters Photos)

Who is the second-richest person in the world?

While he might have been recently booted out of the top spot by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos is currently the second-richest person in the world by several outlets' calculations. His personal net worth at the end of 2021 is thought to be around the $196 billion mark — not too shabby for someone who stepped down from his role as Amazon CEO in July 2021 after 27 years of leading the company. 

For a brief period of time in 2021, French businessman Bernard Arnault reportedly made the leap to the second-richest person position, and even had a few weeks in the number one position, before dropping back down to number three.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is still one of the richest people in the world despite stepping down as Amazon CEO in mid-2021. ( Associated Press / AP Newsroom)


Who are the top 10 richest people in the world?

Following Musk and Bezos, the next richest people in the world are estimated to be, as of December 2021:

  • Bernard Arnault and family ($190 billion)
  • Bill Gates ($136 billion)
  • Larry Ellison ($129 billion)
  • Larry Page ($121 billion)
  • Mark Zuckerberg ($119 billion)
  • Sergey Brin ($116 billion)
  • Warren Buffett ($106 billion)
  • Steve Ballmer ($101 billion)