The highlights from the last 12 months of billionaire wealth growth:
- The combined wealth of the nation’s 657 billionaires increased more than $1.3 trillion, or 44.6 percent, since the pandemic lockdowns began. Over those same 12 months, more than 29 million Americans contracted the virus and more than 535,000 died from it. As billionaire wealth soared over, almost 80 million lost work between March 21, 2020, and Feb. 20, 2021, and 18 million were collecting unemployment on Feb. 27, 2021
- There are 43 newly minted billionaires since the beginning of the pandemic, when there were 614. A number of new billionaires joined the list after initial public offerings (IPOs) of stock in companies such as Airbnb, DoorDash, and Snowflake.
- The increase in the combined wealth of the 15 billionaires with the greatest growth in absolute wealth was $563 billion or 82 percent. The wealth growth of just these 15 represents over 40 percent of the wealth growth among all billionaires. Topping the list are Elon Musk ($137.5 billion richer, 559 percent), Jeff Bezos ($65 billion, 58 percent) and Mark Zuckerberg ($47 billion, 86 percent).
All but three states saw the wealth of their billionaire residents increase. Topping the list in total wealth growth are California at $551 billion, Washington at $134.6 billion, and New York at $116.4 billion. The top three states with the greatest percentage increase in wealth are Michigan at 164 percent, Arizona at 110 percent, and Hawaii at 107 percent.