Billionaires compared with the rest of us, by the numbers


The very rich really are very different from you and me, as author F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote. How different? A new report breaks it down by the financial numbers.

The three richest billionaires in the U.S., as measured by the annual Forbes 400 ranking, now own more wealth than the bottom half of the nation’s population combined, according to the report by the Institute for Policy Studies, a research organization focused on inequality issues.

The Top Trio

The fortunate three are Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and financier and investor Warren Buffett. Their $264.1 billion in holdings outstrips the combined net worth of an estimated 160 million people, or 53 million U.S. households, according to the report titled: Billionaire Bonanza 2017.

The full billionaire ranking

Expanding the comparison to all the billionaires who comprise the full Forbes 400 list, the report said the group collectively has more wealth than the bottom 64% of the U.S. population. The percentage represents roughly 80 million U.S. households, or 204 million people — more than the combined populations of Canada and Mexico.

The wealthiest group includes such well-known names as Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and President Trump, who took a tumble in this year’s ranking.

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