Bill Gates Is Likely To Become The World’s First Trillionaire
Bill Gates will likely be the world's first trillionaire, according to a report from Oxfam.
The charity suggests that it may happen in the next 25 years, thanks to the exponential growth of his existing wealth. By that time, the 61-year-old Microsoft founder will be 86.
According to the 'An Economy for the 99%' report, just eight of the world's richest billionaires have as much money as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of the global population.
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And despite the report highlighting his 'commendable attempts to give [his money] away through his foundation', Gates' net worth has increased by $25 billion (£20 billion) since he retired from playing a part in day-to-day operations at Microsoft in 2014.
Last year his net worth stood at $75 billion (£60 billion).
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' current level of wealth, which is more than $84 billion (£67.2 billion).
The report says: "As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society - especially the poorest - suffers.
Bill with former US President Barack Obama. Credit: PA
"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."
Here's the story of how he rose to become one of the wealthiest men in the world...
Bill Gates' Road To Riches
Bill pictured in 1992. Credit: PA Images
Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1955, Bill Gates' love affair with computer programming began at the age of 13.
He enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973 only to drop out two years later to found Microsoft with childhood friend Paul Allen.
Microsoft became one of the most important technology companies in the world after IBM approached it to design the BASIC oprogramming language for its new computers.
From there the company sold its operating systems to other computer manufacturers. In 1990 Microsoft released its first version of Windows, and captured the majority of the operating system market share. Its monopoly on the market has continued since then.
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Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people, and was the wealthiest from 1995 to 2007, again in 2009, and has been again since 2014.
Gates is also known for his philanthropy. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is the largest private foundation in the world and has donated well over $44.3 billion since it was set up in 2000.
And, as of May 2013, Bill had donated $28 billion of that out of his own back pocket.
Among the good causes the BMGF supports is malaria control, basic sanitation, infectious diseases control and family planning - it works globally.
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