American billionaires haven’t been just immune to the pandemic, they have been thriving in it, drastically increasing their collective wealth.

First published in December 2020.

An analysis by Chuck Collins at the Institute for Policy Studies found that American billionaires have seen their wealth grow by $1 trillion since March of this year – more than 34%.

That was not the case during the 2008 financial crisis when it took Forbes’ 400 richest people three years to recoup their losses from the Great Recession.

Collins’ findings highlight a wealth gain by a mere 650 individuals that seems obscene at a time when nearly 7 million Americans are at risk of eviction when moratoriums expire at the end of the year.

There were numerous impressive financial gains among notable billionaires on the lit with Jeff Bezos growing his fortune by $69.4 billion between March 17 and November 24. The Amazon boss and richest man on the planet is now with $182.4 billion.

The most impressive gain on the list was recorded by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who has seen his fortune experience a meteoric rise. In the above period, his wealth surged a whopping 414%, climbing from ‘just’ $24.6 billion to $126.2 billion, making him the world’s second richest man after Bezos.

Change in wealth of American billionaires since the start of the pandemic. | Statista

Illustrating the gulf in financial inequality in the United States today, the analysis states that U.S. billionaires own $4 trillion, 3.5% of all privately held wealth in the country.

Billionaire wealth is now twice the amount of wealth held by the bottom 50% of all American households combined, approximately 160 million people.🔷

[This piece was first published in Statista & written by Niall McCarthy, Data Journalist at Statista.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Steve Jurvetson. - Elon Musk. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)