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Forbes Rich List: More Billionaires Than Ever, Half of Them Work in Tech Only 13% Are Female

Last Updated April 5, 2024 4:33 PM
Samantha Dunn
Last Updated April 5, 2024 4:33 PM
By Samantha Dunn
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • The annual Forbes Rich List shows a substantial increase in the net worth of tech billionaires.
  • This jump is largely fueled by the AI frenzy, catapulting figures like Mark Zuckerberg to unprecedented wealth levels.
  • The list reflects a, still limited, increase in female representation among the world’s wealthiest individuals.

The 2024 Forbes World’s Billionaires  list showcases more billionaires than ever. But out of the 2,781 individuals gracing the list, only 369 are women. This figure translates to a mere 13%.

Within this already small group, a smaller yet significant fraction represents women who have amassed their wealth independently, a figure standing at 3.6%.

The tech sector, however, steals the spotlight with a record-breaking 342 billionaires, an increase from last year, collectively worth $2.6 trillion.

Tech Billionaires Powered by AI

The extraordinary rally in the technology sector, as highlighted in the 2024 Forbes Billionaires List, is primarily fueled by rapid advances in AI.

The AI craze has led to a surge in investments, with both established tech giants and startups receiving substantial funding. Companies that produce AI tools or utilize AI to enhance their products or services are particularly appealing to investors.

Nvidia, traditionally known for its graphics processing units (GPUs) has become a cornerstone of AI development, particularly with its chips that power AI algorithms. The company’s value skyrocketed last quarter, surpassing all analyst expectations. CEO, Jensen Huang has become one of the world’s richest individuals due to the rising demand for GPUs.

Meta’s “Year of Efficiency”

Meta, under Mark Zuckerberg, has benefitted immensely from its “year of efficiency,” with strategic layoffs and a focused approach to AI, boosting investor confidence and driving up its stock value. Zuckerberg’s net worth surged as Meta adapted to prioritize AI, underscoring the sector’s profitability.

Meta’s 182% rally catapulted Zuckerberg, who owns 14% of the company, from the 16th-richest to fourth-richest on Forbes’ billionaire ranking.

Taylor Swift Joins Handful of Female Billionaires

Taylor Swift, at the age of 34, has joined the ranks of the world’s billionaires. With an estimated fortune of $1.1 billion, she stands out among the 265 newcomers gracing Forbes’ list this year.

This remarkable milestone was significantly bolstered by the success of Swift’s Eras tour. Described as a “mega-concert”, the Eras tour is a monumental celebration of Swift’s career. Its unprecedented success in the US where it amassed over $700 million in ticket sales, underscores the sheer magnitude of Swift’s influence and appeal.

This year’s list not only highlights the profitability of the emerging AI sector. It also casts a spotlight on women who are breaking barriers in fields still dominated by men.

Despite the large gap, there are nearly four times as many self-made women billionaires as there were a decade ago, signaling a slow but steady progression towards gender inclusivity within business.

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