15 Industries Which Produce the Most Billionaires (2024)

In this article, we will look at the 15 industries which produce the most billionaires. We have also talked about the latest news surrounding billionaires and their wealth. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the 5 Industries that Produce the Most Billionaires.

In 2023, the top 10 billionaires experienced a phenomenal increase in wealth, collectively amassing an additional $465.6 billion—an impressive 46% increase compared to the S&P 500's 24% annual gain. Leading this financial ascent was Elon Musk, whose net worth catapulted from $137 billion to $229 billion within the year, followed closely by Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META)’s Mark Zuckerberg, who increased from $45.6 billion to $128 billion.

Even philanthropic endeavors couldn't halt the upward trajectory of billionaire wealth. Warren Buffett, despite donating $5 billion in June and $870 million in November of the previous year, witnessed $13 billion increase in his net worth since January 2, 2023.

Nonetheless, despite the increase in billionaire wealth, President Biden proposed major tax reforms in his State of the Union address on March 8, 2024 with an aim to increase taxes on billionaires and corporations. Biden suggested raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and implementing a minimum tax for billionaires at 25%. He highlighted the disparity in tax rates, noting that some of America's wealthiest individuals pay lower federal taxes than average citizens. Additionally, Biden emphasized the need to end tax breaks for industries such as Big Pharma and Big Oil, while also advocating for a reduction in CEO salaries.

These proposals represent Biden's attempt to distinguish his progressive agenda from his Republican rival, Donald Trump, ahead of the upcoming elections. However, the feasibility of these reforms remains uncertain, as they require congressional approval.

While billionaires are the highlight of our discussion, let’s talk about achieving the millionaire status now. In a survey by Ameriprise Financial, 80% of Americans with $1 million or more in investable assets attributed their financial success to financial planning and investing. Additionally, 70% acknowledged making a good income and living within their means as key factors. Only 13% credited luck for their wealth. Between 2019 and 2022, approximately 6 million American households saw their net worth exceed $1 million. Ameriprise's study, focusing on 580 Americans, aimed to understand how individuals reached the $1 million savings milestone. The study revealed that 85% of respondents associated wealth with financial security, 66% linked it to providing for family, and 58% to personal freedom.

Furthermore, another study found that middle-aged and millennial workers estimated needing $1.1 million and $1.3 million, respectively, for comfortable retirement, yet less than a third of each group expected to achieve these goals. While 60% of millionaires considered themselves upper middle class, only 8% classified themselves as wealthy.

It is interesting to note that in the light of Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s trajectory, its capitalization and diverse business portfolio, the prospect of achieving millionaire status through investment in the tech giant has become more tangible. The company's stock growth over recent decades has been remarkable, with its market capitalization nearing $3 trillion, surpassing even Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL). Despite a seemingly lofty valuation, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s diverse business model spanning cloud services, gaming, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence positions it as a leader across various tech sectors. Its solid financial foundation, with over $140 billion in cash reserves and significant operating cash flow, ensures resilience and agility in navigating market fluctuations and seizing growth opportunities through innovation or acquisitions. While Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s stock may command a premium, its potential to sustain market-beating returns remains promising, supported by its ongoing technological advancements and established market presence.

Investors looking to secure a place in the millionaire club should weigh Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s stock alongside other options. While its valuation might appear steep compared to peers like Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s strong growth prospects and financial strength offer a compelling case for long-term investment.

On the other hand, the Walton family stands atop America's richest families list with a monumental net worth of $267 billion as of 2024, primarily fueled by their major stake in Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT), the world’s largest retailer. Holding an estimated 45% of Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s stock, the family's wealth is distributed among seven heirs of Sam and Bud Walton, the founders. Rob Walton's tenure as chairman and strategic investments, such as the purchase of the NFL's Denver Broncos for $4.7 billion, have contributed to their financial prowess. Additionally, their fortune is further strengthened by the ownership of sports teams, including the Los Angeles Rams and Arsenal, through Stan Kroenke's ties to the family.

Speaking of Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT), it is also the largest private employer in the US.

15 Industries Which Produce the Most Billionaires (1)

A busy cityscape of financial buildings, emphasizing the importance of the industry for the economy.

Our Methodology

To determine industries which produce the most billionaires, we analyzed Forbes' 2023 Billionaires list. By dividing the number of billionaires in each industry by the total number of billionaires on the list, we calculated the percentage share of billionaires for each industry. Consequently, we arranged the industries in ascending order based on their share of billionaires.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that uses a consensus approach to identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The website tracks the movement of corporate insiders and hedge funds. Our top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 stock index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). So, if you are looking for the best stock picks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

15. Sports

Share in the Billionaire List: 1.4%

In 2023, a dozen new billionaires emerged from the sports industry, marking a major trend in wealth creation. LeBron James and Tiger Woods notably became the first active athletes to achieve a billion-dollar net worth, symbolizing the immense financial potential within sports. Booming media rights deals have skyrocketed team values and athlete earnings, with 94 of the top 100 US telecasts being sports events. Ownership of sports teams, exemplified by figures like Mark Davis and Amy Adams Strunk, has become a cornerstone asset for many, yielding substantial returns. Given the potential, sports is one of the most powerful future billionaire industries.

14. Logistics

Share in the Billionaire List: 1.5%

The logistics industry stands out as a surprising source of immense wealth, with only 35 billionaires globally attributing their fortunes to this sector. Among them, eight are Chinese, and six are American. As of March 8, 2023, there are only three female billionaires in logistics. Johnelle Hunt leads the pack with a net worth of $4.5 billion, followed by Xiaojuan Zhang with $1.8 billion, and Liying Chen with $1.1 billion.

13. Construction and Engineering

Share in the Billionaire List: 1.7%

The construction and engineering industry has unparalleled potential for producing billionaires, evidenced by the net worths of its top figures. Diane Hendricks leads the list with a colossal $22.4 billion fortune, followed by Nassef Sawiris at $8.5 billion, Anthony Bamford at $7.1 billion, and Thomas Schmidheiny at $6.5 billion. Rafael Del Pino and Peter Gilgan claim the fifth and sixth spots with $5.9 billion and $5.1 billion, respectively.

12. Automotive

Share in the Billionaire List: 2.80%

Apart from being one of the industries which produce the most billionaires in the world, automotive engineering stands as the breeding ground for billionaire women, like Susanne Klatten, Gail Miller, and Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, that have amassed huge amounts of wealth. Klatten's strategic investments and BMW ownership contribute to her $26.4 billion fortune, while Miller's diversified business empire yields $3.9 billion. Schaeffler's leadership in auto parts manufacturing, valued at $8.2 billion, highlights the sector's lucrative opportunities.

11. Metals and Mining

Share in the Billionaire List: 2.84%

As one of the best industries to become a billionaire, the metals and mining industry harbors immense potential for creating billionaires, as evidenced by the incredible net worth figures of its top players. With Savitri Jindal leading the list at $31.1 billion, followed closely by Gina Rinehart with $30.8 billion, it's evident that fortunes in this sector go up to astronomical heights. The industry's top ten billionaires collectively amass over $235 billion, showcasing the immense wealth generation capacity.

10. Media and Entertainment

Share in the Billionaire List: 3%

The media and entertainment industry is globally known as the billionaire-producing powerhouse due to its multifaceted nature and global reach. Giants like Disney, Comcast, and Netflix have capitalized on their innovative content creation, distribution platforms, and strategic acquisitions to amass vast fortunes. Additionally, the convergence of technology with media has birthed moguls like Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who capitalized on streaming services through Amazon Prime Video. From film production to streaming services, the industry's ability to capture the attention and wallets of billions worldwide ensures its continuous growth.

9. Energy

Share in the Billionaire List: 4%

Energy is one of the industries that makes the most money in the world and hence, most billionaires. Companies like ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, and Chevron dominate this landscape, propelled by the perpetual demand for oil, gas, and renewable energy sources. The sector's inherent capital-intensive nature, coupled with its strategic importance in driving economies, fosters immense wealth accumulation for its key players.

8. Diversified

Share in the Billionaire List: 7%

Comprising 7% of the list, there are 187 billionaires categorized under diversified industries in 2023 by Forbes. The wealthiest among them is Mukesh Ambani, with a net worth of $83.4 billion. Ambani serves as the chairman of Reliance Industries, a conglomerate with investments spanning petrochemicals, oil and gas, retail, and telecommunications sectors, showcasing a wide-ranging portfolio of interests. Hence, it is not wrong to say there are diversified industries which can produce the most billionaires in India.

7. Real Estate

Share in the Billionaire List: 7%

As one of the top 10 industries which produce the most billionaires, real estate comprises 7% of the list with 193 billionaires in 2023. The richest within this category is Donald Bren, with a net worth of $17.4 billion. Bren serves as the chairman of Irvine Co., an important real estate firm headquartered in California.

6. Healthcare

Share in the Billionaire List: 8%

The healthcare industry is a titan in billionaire production, making it one of the popular fields that make the most billionaires. Among the Forbes World’s Billionaires List, comprising 2,640 members with a collective net worth of $12.2 trillion, healthcare magnates command a major presence. Notably, Cyrus Poonawalla, founder of the Serum Institute of India, ranks 68th globally with a fortune exceeding $22.6 billion, while Thomas Frist, Jr., co-founder of HCA Healthcare, sits at #81 with $20.2 billion. Li Xiting, chairman of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, clinches the 103rd spot with a wealth of $16.3 billion.

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Disclosure: None. 15 Industries that Produce the Most Billionaires is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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