After a roaring 2021, the 400 richest people in the U.S.—along with many Americans—have been hit by rising inflation and falling markets. As a group, this year’s Forbes 400 is $500 billion poorer than they were a year ago. Their total net worth stands at $4 trillion, down 11% from last year.
The minimum net worth required to make the list also fell, by $200 million, to $2.7 billion. It’s the first time since the Great Recession that America’s ultrawealthy aren’t richer than the year before. Forbes calculated net worth using stock prices from September 2, 2022.
No one has been hit harder than American tech tycoons, who have lost a combined $315 billion, as their stock prices have plummeted and the gushing spigot of venture capital money has slowed to a trickle. A total of 41 people fell from the ranks this year, including Yahoo’s Jerry Yang, Rivian’s RJ Scaringe and, thanks to the crypto winter, the Winklevoss twins. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg, last year’s No. 3, fell out of the top 10 for the first time since 2014. He’s $76.8 billion poorer than a year ago, the biggest loss of anyone on the 2022 list.
Elon Musk tops The Forbes 400 for the first time. Despite all the turmoil in both his professional and personal lives, Musk is an estimated $60.5 billion richer this year, thanks to an 11% jump in Tesla stock and fresh new rounds of funding for SpaceX. He unseats Jeff Bezos, now No. 2, who was hit by a 27% drop in Amazon shares. Bill Gates moved up a spot, to No. 3, despite giving $20 billion to his foundation earlier this year, thanks largely to Zuck’s bad year.