In 2020, the global economy suffered major losses when it was forced to slow down owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, nothing much changed for the richest families in the world as their fortunes were not affected much, with others growing even more. Most of these families have accumulated their riches from conducting businesses in various fields such as retail, technology, cosmetics, fashion, media, hotels, agribusiness, and publishing.
Which families run the world? According to Forbes, there are approximately 2,095 billionaires with a total combined net worth of $8 trillion on the 2020 ranking. In 2019, there were 2,153 billionaires, and their total combined net worth was $8.7 trillion.
So, who are the most powerful families in the world? Money is power, and the richest families in the world have it. According to statistics from Bloomberg, the top 25 richest families in the world collectively possess approximately $1.4 trillion in wealth.
Richest families in the world 2021
There are many families with a net worth of billions. For example, John D. Rockefeller is the richest American ever. Rockefeller net worth stands at a whopping $400 billion, which is approximately 2% of the country’s GDP. For this reason, the Rockefeller family is among the richest people in American history to date and the richest family in history.
Is the Rothschild family the richest in the world? The Rothschild family was one of the most affluent during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the family’s wealth dropped during the 20th century as it was allocated to the many descendants. This means the family is not as powerful today as it was in previous generations.
Top 15 richest families in the world and their net worth 2021
Who are the 5 families that control the world? The first five clans below are the top in rank that control the world in terms of wealth and power. Here are some of the wealthiest families in the world, starting with the highest net worth to the lowest.
1. The Walton family – $247 billion
What is the richest family in the world? The Walton family comes top, with a combined net worth of $247 billion. The Waltons are among the richest families in America and the wealthiest people in the world.
The top on the list in the family is Jim and Alice who are both worth $65 billion individually, which places them as #11 and #10 (Alice has 0.2 billion more than Jim) respectively on Forbes list of annual billionaires.
The Walton family's source of wealth is from Walmart, the largest retail chain on the continent. In 2020, Walmart earned approximately $524 billion in sales from its 11,000 stores situated worldwide.
The retail chain was started by Sam Walton in Arkansas in 1962. For the past three generations, the Waltons have continued earning cash from the business and own 50% of the company’s stake, earning them top spots in Forbes list of billionaires.
2. The Koch family – $100 billion
The Koch family net worth stands at $100 billion earned from the family business, Koch Industries, an oil refinery firm. According to reports by Bloomberg, Koch Industries make approximately $115 billion in revenue each year.
To add, the Koch clan is the richest family in the world and one of the most influential when it comes to political matters. Koch Industries is the brain child of David Koch who left the company to his wife Julia Flesher Koch and sons upon his death in 2019.
Brother Charles and David Koch took over the company management in the 1980s and managed to grow the establishment into a conglomerate. This was after the exit of their sibling Fredrick and William following a family feud.
3. The Al Saud family – $100 billion
The Al Saud family is one of the wealthiest families in the world. Besides being UAE royalty, the family owns oil mines that generate massive wealth. The Al Saud clan has a staggering net worth of $100 billion.
Apart from getting cash from their oil business, the family also earns part of its wealth from various businesses, including negotiating government tenders and selling land, among other investments. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is worth over $5 billion and lives lavishly on mansions and yachts.
4. The Mars family – $94 billion
The Mars family has a net worth of $94 billion from their company Mars Inc. Mars Inc. is a candy dynasty that creates favourites treats, including Mars Bars, Snickers M&Ms, Milky Way, and Twix.
The company also houses a pet-care brand that brings in $38 billion in revenue each year. The company was started by Frank Mars, who loved hand-dipping chocolates as a schoolboy.
John and Jacqueline Mars inherited the company from their father when he died in 1999. The Mars family owns stakes in the company for over five generations, with Victoria Mars being the current chairperson.
5. The Ambani family – $76 billion
The Ambanis are the only Indian clan to make it to the top 5 richest families in the world. The family has a net worth of $76 billion generated from Reliance Industries, an Indian multinational with the largest oil refining enterprise on earth.
The company owns various businesses such as retail firms and telecommunication all over India. The company was established in 1957 by Dhirubhai Ambani and inherited by kids Mukesh and Anil Ambani following his death in 2002.
Mukesh Ambani is the CEO of Reliance Industries, and he lives luxuriously in his 27-story, 400,000 square foot mansion located in Mumbai. His house is believed to be one of the most lavish private homes on earth.
6. Carlos Slim Helu and family – $65.1 billion
The family's real-time net worth on Forbes as of 18th February 2021 is $65.1 billion. Carlos Slim Helu and his family control the biggest mobile telecom firm in Latin America, America Movil. Carlos is a Mexican business magnate and investor. He also owns Conglomerate ‘Grupo Carso.’
7. The Dumas family – $63.9 billion
The Dumas family has a net worth of $63.9 billion all amassed from their luxury brand dynasty Hermès. The name Hermès is synonymous with signature ‘H’ belts, Birkin bags, and gorgeous silk scarves.
The company was established back in the 1800s by Thierry Hermes when he started manufacturing riding paraphernalia for noblemen. Jean-Louis Dumas inherited the company in the 1970s and managed to grow it into an internationally recognized luxury brand.
He led Hermès from 1978 to 2006 and passed away in 2010. Presently, the company is headed by Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the firm’s artistic director, and Alex Dumas, the chairman.
8. The Wertheimer family – $54.4 billion
The Wertheimer family has an astounding net worth of $54.4 billion sourced from their company Chanel. In 2019, Chanel made $12.3 billion in revenue making them the wealthiest family in the world.
Other than selling a top luxury fragrance, the Wertheimer family owns vineyards situated in Napa Valley and France, as well as racehorse breeds. The company was started in the 1920s when its founder Pierre Wertheimer sponsored designer Coco Chanel. Currently, the fashion house is managed by Wertheimer grandsons, Alain and Gerard.
9. The Cargill/MacMillan family – $47 billion
They are the 4th richest American family, with a combined net worth of $47 billion as of 2021. The Cargills own the largest privately held company in the United States, Cargill, Inc. It is an agribusiness multinational founded in 1865 by William W. Cargill when he started a one-grain storage warehouse in Iowa.
Presently, his heirs own most stakes at the company. The Cargill-Macmillan family is one of the wealthiest families in the world, with 14 billionaires.
The Cargill-Macmillan family of 23 members owns 88% of the company’s stake. The agribusiness company made a stunning $115 billion in revenue in its fiscal year ending May 2020.
10. The Boehringer and von Baumbach families – 45.7 billion
The Boehringer and Von Baumbauch are among the two richest people in the world who come from Germany. The two families have a net worth of 45.7 billion earned from their pharmaceutical company known as Boehringer Ingelheim. The company has been in existence for over 130 years and continues to flourish.
11. The Lauder family – $40 billion
The Lauders are worth $40 billion, according to Forbes 12th December 2020 statistics. Estée Lauder established the cosmetics company with her husband in 1946.
Currently, six billionaire members of this family own stakes in the publicly traded company, which has 29 famous brands such as Origins, MAC, and Clinique. The founders' grandchild, William Lauder, chairs the company, while his brother Ronald chairs the Clinique division.
12. The Hoffman-Oeri family – $39 billion
The Hoffman-Oeri family from Switzerland has a massive net worth of $39 billion. The family fortune comes from their pharmaceutical firm known as Roche that was started in 1896. The family business has been thriving well, and in 2019 it generated a whopping $62 billion.
13. The SC Johnson family – $37 billion
The Johnson family has a net worth of $37 billion which is generated from its family company SC Johnson. The company manufactures cleaning products like Windex, Glade, and Pledge. It was founded in 1882 and is still thriving to date, five generations later.
14. The (Edward) Johnson family – $36 billion
The Johnson family owns Fidelity Investments that was founded in 1946 by Edward C. Johnson. The company has grown into a dynasty bringing the family’s net worth to $36 billion as of 2020. It is currently led by the co-founder’s granddaughter, Abigail Johnson, who shares its treasure with three generations of the clan.
15. The Mulliez family – $38.4 billion
The Mulliez family is one of the plushest families in Europe and in the world. The family sources its wealth from Auchan, one of the largest supermarket chains in Europe, which is also known as ‘Walmart of France’.
The family has a staggering net worth of $38.4 billion. Besides Auchan, Mulliez family also has astake in Leroy Merlin and Decathlon companies.
Who are the 12 richest families in the world? Our list of the richest families in the world in 2021 has given you more than 12. Will these billionaire families retain their positions this year? The year is still young, but we will find out in due course.
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