9 ways to imagine Jeff Bezos’ wealth

The money question

9 ways to imagine Jeff Bezos’ wealth

Data on the true wealth of billionaires is about as murky as swamp water. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try wading through it! To illustrate the staggering sums of the ultra-rich, I scoured the web for reliable numbers on Jeff Bezos’ net worth — and mostly came up with question marks and educated guesses. Bezos’ net worth is so tied up in Amazon stock that it can fluctuate by millions of dollars in a single minute. But here are our best calculations of his net worth, from financial publications reports and the scant paperwork available. Let’s dive in!

1. Deep dive

Hard cash is just a tiny fraction of Bezos’ vast net worth.

Personal wealth (e.g. Blue Origin): $9.15 billion

Publicly traded assets (e.g. Amazon shares): $147.25 billion

2. Let them eat cake

Jeff Bezos has only given away 1.2 percent of his wealth so far. That’s $2.1 billion. What could we achieve if he gave away more of his cake?

0.7% Give every Amazon employee $1,000.

0.8% Emergency repairs to all roads and bridges in the United States.

1.9% Pre-K for each US child for one year.

8.7% A year’s supply of insulin for US diabetics.

10.4% Free public transportation for every New Yorker for one year.

11.4% Feed 13.8 million food-insecure American households for a month.

3. Clock in

Bezos has enough money for several lifetimes. But how many lives would it take the average Joe to accumulate?

The average full-time Amazon employee made $37,930 in 2020. To amass as much money as Bezos ($172 billion)…

…a worker should have started work in the Pliocene (4.5 million years ago, when hominids were just walking!).

4. Put it in the right light

The average net worth of US households is $118,200. Bezos has $172,000,000,000. So… how does that compare?

The weight of a single peanut

A truckload of peanut butter* (*1,925 lbs. – almost a ton!)

The size of a white blood cell

The length of a fin whale

Fingernail dust* (*0.000117 cm.)

The height of a piece of Toblerone

Mount Everest (with five climbs)

A flight from New York to Louisville, Ky.

The volume of a silent library

The roar of a jet taking off

A flake in a snow globe

Every blade of grass on a small front yard

A microscopic dot of champagne (14 bubbles)

A flute of champagne (20 million bubbles)

The diameter of an Oreo cookie

More than twice as wide as the Grand Canyon

5. Bezos’ world

Bezos owns an estimated 420,000 acres of land. Here’s what he could fit in his metaphorical backyard.

6. The momentum of things

On any given day Jeff Bezos net worth can fluctuate up or down. The changes are often enormous.

For example, on March 15, the morning when the markets opened, his estimated net worth was $166 billion. At the end of the day, it was $172 billion.

7. Measuring the temperature

If wealth equaled heat, how hot would Jeff Bezos be?

jeff bezos $172,000,000,000

The core of the sun 27,000,000°F

Dolly Parton $350,000,000

The heat of the lightning 50,000F

Mitch McConnell $10,000,000

A pizza oven 900°F

Mean US household wealth $118,200

sweater weather 52°F

If this were to scale, it would take much, much longer – think whole minutes of scrolling – to make it down here. …

8. More is more

A timeline where Bezos gets richer and richer and richer and richer and richer and richer and richer…


AUGUST 2013Bezos buys the Washington Post.

AUGUST 2013Bezos buys the Washington Post.

2013


JULY 2014 Amazon introduces its first smartphone.

JULY 2014 Amazon introduces its first smartphone.

2014


JULY 2015 First Amazon Prime Day to celebrate 20 years of Amazon.

JULY 2015 First Amazon Prime Day to celebrate 20 years of Amazon.

2015


JUNE 2017 Amazon acquires Whole Foods.

JUNE 2017 Amazon acquires Whole Foods.

2017

MARCH 2020 Pandemic.

2020

9. In the time it takes

Bezos adds $500* to his fortune every single second. His time is so valuable.
*calculated from Bezos’ wealth growth 2012-22

To read, turn your device vertically.
(Having trouble? Make sure your device’s orientation isn’t locked.)

SOURCES: Bloomberg Billionaires Index, The Land Report, Amazon filings, Forbes’ America’s Top Givers 2022, Bezos’ net worth as of the close of business on March 15, 2022.

Mona Chalabi is a writer and illustrator based in London. She specializes in everything to do with data.

Additional design and development by Jacky Myint.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.