There are 2,755 billionaires globally - and combined, they are worth over $13 trillion.
Of these ultra wealthy individuals, Visual Capitalist's Avery Koop notes that just over 100 are millennials, born between the years 1981 and 1996. This young generation represents around 3.8% of all billionaires on a global basis with a combined net worth of $573.1 billion.
This visualization, using data from Forbes, ranks the richest 25 millennial billionaires and details their source of wealth, total net worth, nationality, and age.
Note: Forbes categorized billionaires by current age (2021). For those slightly over or under the age range of Millennials, meaning those who are currently 24 or 40 years old (i.e. they could have been born in either 1996/1997 or 1980/1981), if their birth year could not be accurately determined, they were left out of this ranking.
Who are the Millennial Billionaires?
The oldest millennials will be turning 40 in 2021, while the youngest are just turning 25. This means that millennial billionaires are generally the youngest billionaires in the world, save two Gen Zers: Wang Zelong of China, 24, and Kevin David Lehmann of Germany, 18.
The U.S. is home to the most millennial billionaires at 33 total, with China coming in second at 23—most other countries fall far behind.
In the U.S., millennial billionaires are often associated with notable tech companies like Snapchat, Airbnb, and Facebook. Others are heirs of massive family fortunes like Lukas Walton—grandson of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and the original head of America’s richest family.
In China, some millennial billionaires really stand out, like Relx founder, Kate Wang. The 39-year-old started her e-cigarette and vape company only three years ago, at age 36, and is expected to soon be vying for the title of richest woman in China.
Overall, billionaires were up $8 trillion in combined net worth compared to 2020 with around 493 new people added to the list in 2021.
In fact, 86% of all billionaires are richer than a year ago. But let’s look at how wealth changed for the millennials in the billionaires club. Here’s a look at the difference in net worth from 2020 to 2021 for the top five richest millennials:
Mark Zuckerberg: +$35 Billion
Zhang Yiming: +$19.4 Billion
Yang Huiyan: +$9.3 Billion
Dustin Moskovitz: +$8.5 Billion
Su Hua: +$14.9 Billion
For each of the top 25 millennial billionaires, net worth either increased or was unchanged (or they were new to the title of billionaire). This is true for all except one person—Lukas Walton, whose net worth decreased by almost $3 billion from 2020 to 2021.
The Average Millennial
While there are around 106 millennial billionaires worldwide, their combined net worth is only a fraction of total billionaire wealth. So how much economic power and influence does this generation really hold?
When looking at the average American millennial’s wealth, the Generational Power Index has determined that this young generation only holds 9.6% of economic power in the U.S. Here’s a quick look at millennial wealth metrics in the U.S.:
Millennials only make up 7% of American business leaders
They own $73 billion in equities and mutual fund shares
They represent 13% of small business leaders
They make up 7% of American billionaire wealth
Globally, there are an estimated 1.8 billion millennials. Among that cohort, there are just over 100 people worth billions—and given that many are still in the early part of their careers, there is likely to be many millennial billionaires yet to come.