The Jewish people may account for less than 0.2% of the world's population, but among the 1,426 billionaires around the globe, 165 or 11.6% of them are Jews, and their joint wealth has reached the incredible amount of $812 billion, according to Forbes Israel. Out of the 50 richest people in the world, about a quarter or 25% are Jewish, and of the top 10 richest Jews in the world, eight are from the U.S., while two are from Russia.

The above claim is all over the internet. Examples:

Are 11.6% of world's billionaires Jews?

  • 7
    The 1426 is just Forbes 2013 list. The list doesn't really have all the billionaires. "Forbes does not include royal family members nor royalty who, often with large families, control the riches in trust for their nation. This means the wealthy royal families of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are not eligible for their global wealth ranking." quora.com/…
    – DavePhD
    Dec 11, 2016 at 14:01
  • 3
    The claim is actually made by the publication forbes.co.il/rating/list.aspx?en6v0tVq=FK , note that is is not always easy to define who is a Jew (e.g. having one Jewish parent does not mean you identify as a Jew, or even be recognized as one by a particular religious authority), and these lists usually have broad definitions. Also note DavePhD's comment. Given these influences - the number does not seem unreasonable, it is lower than the ratio for Nobel prize winners. For historic reason, Jews have been driven towards Academic and Financial professions and that can generate wealth.
    – Ofir
    Dec 11, 2016 at 14:29
  • To elaborate about the claims I made in my previous comment, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_Jew#Background and algemeiner.com/2013/10/29/… note that I may be biased as I am of Jewish descent (not a billionaire though)
    – Ofir
    Dec 11, 2016 at 14:38
  • 7
    This isn't a direct answer, but one study found: "There are 7,384,680 Christian HNWIs constituting 56.2 per cent of total HNWIs, followed by Muslims - 8,854,100 [sic 885,510] (6.5 per cent), Hindus - (512,460; 3.9 per cent) and Jews - (223,380; 1.7 per cent). As many as 4,165,380 HNWIs have either no religion or belong to 'other' religion." Where 'HNWI' means individual having over one million dollars in liquid financial assets. deccanherald.com/content/453467/…
    – DavePhD
    Dec 11, 2016 at 17:39
  • 1
    I've fixed the links so they make sense (they looked like they were to Forbes!) and removed the H1 typography from the question (use it only on titles).
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 12, 2016 at 19:54

2 Answers 2


According to Jewish Billionaires Worth $812 Billion, Forbes Israel Reports Haaretz 2013

The 165 Jewish billionaires around the world have $812 billion in joint wealth, Forbes Israel reported on Thursday.

So, according to Forbes, who made the list of 1,426, billionaires, 165 are Jewish.

165/1426 = 11.6%

A more-primary source is from Forbes Israel itself דירוג המיליארדרים של פורבס: היהודים העשירים בעולם. This article gives a specific list of who particularly they consider to be the 165 Jewish billionaires of the 1426.

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  • "165 are Jewish" -- Does that make the claim true or false? Dec 12, 2016 at 20:17
  • 165/1426 = 11.6%
    – DavePhD
    Dec 12, 2016 at 20:19
  • 165/1426 = 0.11570827489 ha ha :-) Dec 12, 2016 at 20:21
  • 1
    I know the math, but those who will view it may not. I asked you so that you would update the answer and clarify that point. Dec 12, 2016 at 20:24
  • 1
    Any reason not to mention the caveats you raised in a comment on the question? (Also, what's the point of including the image of the magazine cover?)
    – ff524
    Dec 12, 2016 at 20:45

I cannot address the entire claim but I will address this statement:

Out of the 50 richest people in the world, about a quarter or 25% are Jewish

This site breaks down the list of the 50 richest people in the world by religion


9, 18% are listed under Jewish for religious background. Not 25%.

That part of the claim is false.

  • 1
    It seems like the wrong information came from the article originally saying that the Koch brothers were Jewish.
    – DavePhD
    Dec 12, 2016 at 14:54
  • @DavePhD seems likely. That would bring it closer but we'd need 4 people to make the claim true.
    – Murphy
    Dec 12, 2016 at 15:19
  • 11/50 = 22%, so only one more person would make 24%.
    – DavePhD
    Dec 12, 2016 at 15:22
  • Times of Israel says 10 out of the 50, timesofisrael.com/10-jews-in-forbes-top-50-billionaires (or 12/50 = 24% before Slate fixed the mistake about the Kock brothers).
    – DavePhD
    Dec 12, 2016 at 17:54

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