These Are the Richest People on Every Continent (Even Antarctica)

Bill Gates is surprisingly not the richest man in North America. | JP Yim/Getty Images

We know that the world’s wealth isn’t exactly distributed equally. All you have to do is take a look at the richest people in the world to get a sense of that. Wealth, for the most part, is concentrated in certain parts of the globe. North America, Europe, and Asia are typically where you’ll find the world’s richest people, although you’ll also find some of the poorest in the same places. Often, in the same cities. Even those who are “secretly rich“, you might say, are concentrated in these same places.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t wealthy people in every corner of the world. Even in the poorest village, you’re going to find someone who is relatively wealthy compared to the rest. When you take a look at the world at large, though? It’s interesting to see that even among the richest of the rich, there’s still quite a bit of clustering in terms of geographic location.

Which brings us to an interesting question: Who are the wealthiest people on each continent? We know who the richest people in the world are — a list typically dominated by names like Bezos, Gates, and Buffett. But how do the people on that list, typically in places like North America and Europe, compare to the rich in places like South America or Africa?

The team from HowMuch.net has answers. A new report tracked down the richest individuals on each of the seven continents (yes, even Antarctica, with some caveats) to help give us an idea of the differences. It’s striking, for example, how much richer the wealthiest individual in North America is compared to Australia. Don’t be mistaken, these people are all insanely wealthy. But if you want to get a feel for how “rich” can be relative on each major landmass, this list will help.

First up, the richest man not only in North America but in the entire world.

North America – Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

Amazon is ready to take over the world. | David McNew/Getty Images

  • Bezos is worth more than $90 billion and recently jumped over Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world.

If you had stumbled upon this list a year ago, you would have found a different name here. But just recently, Jeff Bezos became the richest man in North America — and actually, the richest person in the world. His fortune is now more than $90 billion, enough to leapfrog Bill Gates on the list, and it’s only set to get bigger. Bezos, of course, is the founder of Amazon, and now has his fingers in several other projects as well including his space company Blue Origin, and as the owner of The Washington Post.

Next: A look at South America’s richest person.

South America – Jorge Paulo Lemann

Jorge Paulo Lemann

The businessman is quite an adrenaline junkie.  | Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • The Brazilian-Swiss investor is worth more than $30 billion.

Lemann isn’t a household name in the vein of Jeff Bezos. But that doesn’t mean he’s not immensely rich. Bloomberg once called him the world’s “most interesting billionaire“, and he’s earned his billions through a variety of investments and business holdings. All told, his companies are worth something like $200 billion. And on top of all that, he’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Lemann is known to surf monster waves, spearfish, and, hit the tennis court frequently.

Next: Who is Amancio Ortega? And what continent does he call home?

Europe – Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega

His fashion brands are scoring big. | Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images

  • Ortega’s fortune is worth almost $78 billion.

Europe is home to a lot of money — old money, especially. But no one on the continent has more of it than Amancio Ortega. Ortega’s fortune totals nearly $80 billion, most of it coming from his business holdings. Ortega’s main interests are in clothing sales, as he is one of the co-founders of Inditex, the parent company of Zara. He also has an extensive real estate portfolio, with holdings in major cities across the world, even in the U.S.

Next: This man is Asia’s wealthiest.

Asia – Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani

He owns the most expensive private residence in the world. | Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Ambani, an Indian businessman, has almost $42 billion in the bank.

Like Europe, Asia is rife with money. But the main difference is that Asia’s full of new billionaires rather than old, familial dynasties. But the richest person in Asia is Mukesh Ambani, who is worth roughly $42 billion. You may know Ambani as the man who owns the most expensive private residence in the world with his $1.5 billion 60-story skyscraper in Mumbai. Ambani’s money comes from his company, Reliance Industries Limited.

Next: One of the richest women in the world

Australia – Gina Rinehart

Gina Rinehart

Her family’s money wins her her spot. | Matt King/Getty Images

  • Rinehart’s fortune stems from her family’s mining interests and totals up to more than $16 billion.

At a mere $16 billion, Rinehart’s fortune may look small compared to Bezos or Gates. But it still makes her the richest person on the Australian continent. Rinehart oversees Hancock Prospecting, a mining company, which she inherited from her father after he died in the 1980s. In addition to mining, she is one of Australia’s biggest cattle producers. Her wealth fluctuates quite a bit with the price of precious metals, however, so she can shoot up or down the “world’s richest” list depending on the day.

Next: Who is the richest man in Africa?

Africa – Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote

He founded the continent’s largest cement producer. | Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

  • Dangote’s $13.7 billion makes him the wealthiest person on the African continent.

Dangote founded Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer. This, as a result, has made him the continent’s richest person. He’s from Nigeria, and in addition to his cement company, owns stakes in businesses dealing with salt, sugar, and flour. Like Rinehart, his wealth fluctuates depending on commodity prices, and at one point, he one of the 25 richest people in the world. Currently, he has less than $14 billion, which is still enough to make him Africa’s richest man.

Finally: The richest man in Antarctica, though he doesn’t actually live there.

Antarctica – Arnold W. Donald

Arnold W. Donald

Though he doesn’t technically live there, he’s as good as the continent’s richest person. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

  • Donald is the CEO of Carnival Cruises, and his net worth is estimated to be more than $100 million.

Okay, so Donald doesn’t actually live in Antarctica. But here’s the thing — nobody does. So, HowMuch.net’s team needed to make a call. Here’s what they had to say: “As CEO of Carnival Corporation, Donald’s cruise ships make the most profitable endeavors to Antarctica.” So, there you have it. Arnold Donald, Carnival’s CEO, is thus crowned the king of the Antarctic. We know he earns roughly $10 million per year, and it’s estimated he’s worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million.

See the complete report from HowMuch.net.

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