Tesla and SpaceX leader Elon Musk came close to doubling his net worth in 2021, adding to the enormous fortune that has made him the world’s richest person.
Musk started the year with a net worth of $156 billion and ended it worth $277 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The $121 billion gain in net worth was a 78% increase of his personal fortune. Musk had an even larger gain in 2020, when he added $140 billion to his net worth.
Musk, who has recently moved his primary residence to Texas and relocated Tesla’s corporate headquarters to Austin, said he expects to pay more than $11 billion in taxes for 2021.
The 10 richest people in the world added a combined $402 billion to their fortunes in 2021, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with Musk’s $277 billion net worth by far the largest fortune.
Musk’s closest competitor, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, will enter 2022 worth $190 billion. That’s a $4.5 billion gain since this time last year.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg added nearly $25 billion to his fortune in 2020. He’s worth $128 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates began the new year worth $139 billion. He entered 2021 with a value of $132 billion. His former wife, Melinda French Gates — who ended her 27 year marriage to Bill in August — reportedly has a net worth of $11.4 billion.
Google co-founder Larry Page cracked the 12-digit club in 2021 by adding $47 billion to the $83 billion he had coming into this year. Fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin also enjoyed that distinction by becoming worth $125 billion, thanks to a 2021 gain of $45 billion.
French luxury goods peddler Bernard Arnault also saw his fortune leap to $176 billion after hauling in more than $61 billion. He’s the only billionaire outside the U.S. to have cracked Bloomberg’s 2021 top 10 list in terms of total wealth.
All 10 of those power players are worth more than $100 billion. The 11th-wealthiest person on the list, also from France, is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, who’s valued at nearly $94 billion. The heiress is the richest woman alive.
In 2020, Musk and Tesla announced that the automaker would build a $1.1 billion manufacturing facility in southeast Travis County. In October, Musk announced that Tesla was relocating its corporate headquarters from California to Austin.
What’s been tougher to nail down is whether Musk, himself, has moved to Austin. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Musk has been living in a mansion on Lake Austin owned by a longtime friend and also has been shopping for one of his own in the Austin area.
Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper reported that Musk has been staying in the waterfront estate of fellow billionaire Ken Howery.
However, both Musk and Howery called the Wall Street Journal report inaccurate. Musk has said that his primary residence is in a $50,000 modular house in Boca Chica, near SpaceX’s launch facility in South Texas.
Production is expected to start in the next few weeks at Tesla’s new Austin-area factory. On Sunday, Tesla said that it delivered more than 308,000 electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021, beating its previous single-quarter record, which had been the 241,300 Tesla produced in the third quarter.
For the full year, Tesla delivered 936,172 vehicles, up from 2020 when it delivered 499,647 vehicles.