The world lost a few billionaire fortunes in 2023, but there are still plenty of mega-rich people whose money could easily change the lives of everyone on the planet if we divided it up.
That of course will never happen, but it's a handy way to look at the numbers contained in Forbes' latest billionaire list, which is considered one of the best running tallies of the ultra-rich and their net worths. It's also a fun little "eat the rich" experiment to put everything in perspective.
Here's what you need to know about the wealthiest people in the world and just how much money they're sitting on.
How many billionaires are there in 2023?
There are 2,640 billionaire fortunes as of March 2023, according to Forbes' annual report.
That's down from 2,668 last year, meaning the world lost a total of 28 fortunes from its billionaires' club.
However, there were actually more changes than that, as Forbes estimates that 150 people have actually become billionaires since last year, meaning they've replaced others in the total count.
The newly-minted billionaires include Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Jimmy Buffet, along with several young heirs and heiresses who inherited their family fortunes over the last year.
How much money do billionaires have in 2023?
Forbes estimates that the combined wealth of all the world's billionaires is worth $12.2 trillion.
To put that in perspective, the entire U.S. government spent $6.27 trillion in the last fiscal year.
But if you really want to grasp how much money that is, think of it like this: If you divided up all that money equally among the world's 8 billion people, you could give everyone $1,525. That's enough to buy an iPhone, fund a trip or cover a month's worth of rent for every living human on Earth, depending on where you live. And in some places, that money will go much farther than others.
The world's billionaires actually lost a combined $500 billion compared to last year, which is absolutely staggering when you think about it. If we do a little more back-of-the-napkin math, that's $62.50 for every person on the planet, or the equivalent of a nice dinner out with drinks.
Who is the No. 1 richest person in the world?
French fashion mogul Bernard Arnault was the richest person in the world as of March 2023, according to Forbes.
Arnault is worth an estimated $211 billion thanks to his LVHM empire, which includes a wide range of fashion and cosmetic brands such as Sephora, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
If you divided up all of his money, you could give all 8 billion people on Earth $28 to spend on a pizza party and still have money left over.