Stats Gate

How much the richest 20 American billionaires made during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Elon Musk

For Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Covid pandemic has been good for business. The three billionaires, like many of the richest people in the world, have become even richer since the coronavirus struck.

According to the CEOWORLD magazine, the richest 5 American billionaires — which include Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO (NASDAQ: FB) Mark Zuckerberg, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO (NYSE: BRK.A) Warren Buffett — have collectively seen their wealth grow by $327.9 billion between March and November last year.

In all, America’s 5 richest billionaires went from owning $357.8 billion in wealth at the start of the pandemic to $687.7 billion as 2020 drew to a close. According to CEOWORLD magazine, their increase in wealth would be more than enough to pay for a Covid-19 vaccine for all, which the international humanitarian group Oxfam estimated at $141.2 billion. CEOWORLD magazine ranked the 20 American billionaires whose monetary wealth grew the most from March 18, 2020, to January 21, 2021.

RankNameSource of wealthNet worth as of March 18, 2020Net worth as of Jan. 21, 2021Change in net worth from March 18, 2020-Jan. 21, 2021% Change in net worth from March 18, 2020-Jan. 21, 2021
1Jeff BezosAmazon$113B$192.3B$79.3B70.18
2Elon MuskTesla/SpaceX$24.6B$182.9B$158.3B643.5
3Bill GatesMicrosoft$98B$121.6B$23.6B24.08
4Mark ZuckerbergFacebook$54.7B$99.8B$45.1B82.45
5Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway$67.5B$89.1B$21.6B32
6Larry EllisonOracle$59B$86.5B$27.5B46.61
7Larry PageGoogle$50.9B$82.6B$31.7B62.28
8Sergey BrinGoogle$49.1B$80.2B$31.1B63.34
9Steve BallmerMicrosoft$52.7B$75.9B$23.2B44.02
10Alice WaltonWalmart$54.4B$67.7B$13.3B24.45
11Jim WaltonWalmart$54.6B$67.5B$12.9B23.63
12Rob WaltonWalmart$54.1B$67.2B$13.1B24.21
13MacKenzie ScottAmazon$36B$58.3B$22.3B61.94
14Michael BloombergBloomberg LP$48B$54.9B$6.9B14.38
15Phil KnightNike$29.5B$56B$23.5B79.66
16Julia KochKoch Industries$38.2B$44.9B$6.7B17.54
17Charles KochKoch Industries$38.2B$44.9B$6.7B17.54
18Daniel GilbertQuicken Loans$6.5B$42.3B$35.8B550.77
19Michael DellDell Computers$22.9B$41.8B$18.9B82.53
20Len BlavatnikAccess Industries$17B$31.7B$14.7B86.47

Methodology: In order to find out how much the wealthiest 20 American billionaires “made” during COVID, CEOWORLD magazine first found the 20 wealthiest American billionaires in terms of (1) net worth as of January 21, 2021, from Forbes’ “Real-Time Billionaire” tracker. CEOWORLD magazine then found each of those 20 American billionaires net worth as of 03/18/2020, as sourced from Forbes’ “2020 Billionaire List.” From there, CEOWORLD magazine was able to calculate (3) the change in net worth (US dollar amount) from March 18, 2020, to Jan. 21, 2021, and (4) the percent change in net worth from March 18, 2020, to Jan. 21, 2021, for each billionaire. CEOWORLD magazine also found the source of wealth for all 20 richest American billionaires, all sourced from Forbes’ “Real-Time Billionaire” tracker. All data were collected on and up to date as of Jan. 21, 2021.

Notably, many of the billionaires on this list are associated with technology companies – and many of those companies have done especially well during the pandemic.


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Sophie Ireland
SVP for News and Editorial Director. As CEOWORLD magazine's senior vice president for news and editorial director, Sophie Ireland oversees CEOWORLD magazine's journalism and journalists around the world and across platforms. She leads an award-winning team of journalists and newsroom executives who are committed to excellence, innovation and the highest quality reporting and storytelling. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn. Email her at sophie@ceoworld.biz.