According to a report from Oxfam, we could get our first trillionaire in the next 25 years thanks to the exponential growth of existing wealth.
By that time, the 61-year-old Microsoft founder will be the spritely young age of 86.
And ‘despite his commendable attempts to give [his money] away through his foundation’, Gates’s net worth increased by $25billion (£20billion) in the decade after he left the company. So in 2016, his net worth stood at $75billion (£60billion).
So, in order to estimate how much he’ll be worth in a few years, researchers applied the average rate of growth that the ultra-rich have been enjoying – 11% since 2009 – to Gates’s current level of wealth, which is more than $84billion (£67.2billion).
‘In such an environment, if you are already rich, you have to try hard not to keep getting a lot richer,’ the report says.
However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing – and despite Gates’s charitable deeds, it does highlight a growing problem of major wealth inequality.
According to Oxfam’s ‘An Economy for the 99%’, just eight of the world’s billionaires have as much money as the 3.6billion people who make up the poorest half of the globe’s population.
‘As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society – especially the poorest – suffers,’ the report warns.
‘The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point.
‘Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people.’