We get bombarded with lists of the richest people on earth. Not very often do we talk about which family has the most wealth. That's what we'll be talking about in this article: who is the richest family in the world?
The rich and famous' amazing exploits and glitzy lifestyles get media attention. Stories have been written about the lives of wealthy families spanning generations.
That information feeds our curiosity, and our fascination blazes on as we keep tabs on who's who, the rise and fall of their fortunes, who lives in the biggest house, and the net worth of elite families.
An interesting aspect of these elites' wealth is when it involves a whole family, especially those who have maintained their economic status for generations, be it via inheritance or business.
15 Richest Families in the World
Just who are these families who currently rank as the wealthiest? And among them, who is the richest family in the world?
15. The Mulliez Family
The Mulliez family is one of the richest families in the world, with a total net worth of $45.9 billion. The family patriarch, Gérard Mulliez, founded the retail giant Auchan in 1961. Today the company operates more than 7,000 stores in 30 countries.
The Mulliez family also owns the Decathlon sporting goods chain and the Darty appliance chain. Adding to their vast retail holdings, the Mulliez family has interests in banking, insurance, and real estate.
The family's estimated net worth of $45.9 billion makes them one of the richest families in France and among the wealthiest families in the world.
14. The Hoffmann and Oeri Families
They say money can't buy happiness, but it sure can buy many other things. Just ask the Hoffmann and Oeri families, ranked as the 14th richest families in the world with a combined net worth of $47.3 billion. Their wealth is inherited from drug maker Roche, founded by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche in 1896.
While their fortune may not bring them personal fulfillment, it does allow them to enjoy the finer things in life, like private jets, yacht parties, and luxury homes.
13. The Lauder Family
The Lauder family is no stranger to wealth. With a net worth of $49.3 billion, they rank 13th on the list of the world's richest families. Their matriarch, Estée Lauder, started her eponymous cosmetics company with just four products.
Today, it is a global powerhouse with over 25 brands in its portfolio and over $16.2 billion in annual revenue. The Lauders are also known for their philanthropy, donating billions of dollars to causes ranging from education to the arts.
12. The Albrecht Family
The Albrecht family is one of the richest families in the world, with a net worth of $51 billion. The family owns the German discount supermarket chain Aldi and Trader Joe's US grocery chain.
The family story is fascinating: the brothers who founded the businesses were born into a low-income family of bakers in Germany. They started by selling cigarettes and other goods from their parent’s grocery store, eventually building their empire.
Today, the Aldi chain has over 10,000 stores in more than 20 countries. The Trader Joe's chain has over 400 stores in the US.
11. The Cargill and Macmillan Families
At number 11 on the list of the richest families in the world, we have the Cargill and Macmillan families with a net worth of $51.6 billion. The Cargill family made their fortunes from their company, the largest privately held company in the United States, with interests in agriculture, food, and commodities trading.
On the other hand, the Macmillan family comes from the publishing dynasty behind one of the “Big Five” publishing houses, Macmillan Publishers. Both families have been two of the most powerful and influential families in their respective industries for generations.
10. The Boehringer and Von Baumbach Families
The Boehringer and von Baumbach families are two of the richest families in the world, with a net worth of $59.2 billion. Combined, they have 12 homes, including properties in London, New York, and Los Angeles. But it's their story that is truly remarkable.
The German family Boehringer founded a drug company many years ago. Now, they are now in charge of that company with the von Baumbachs.
The families were once rivals, but they managed to put aside their differences and come together to form one of the most powerful business empires in the world. Their success is a testament to the power of family, and their wealth reflects their hard work and dedication.
9. The Thomson Family
At number nine, we have the Thomson family with a net worth of $61.1 billion. The family patriarch, Kenneth Thomson, built his fortune in the media and telecommunications industries. His son, David, is now the chairman of Thomson Reuters. His grandson, Peter, is the CEO of Woodbridge, the family's holding company.
The family's wealth has allowed them to live a life of luxury, with homes in Toronto, London, and New York. However, they have also used their wealth to give back to their community, supporting many charitable causes.
8. The Johnson Family
The Johnson's $61.2 billion fortune is derived from their ownership of Fidelity Investments, one of the largest asset management firms in the world. The Johnson family has a long history in the financial industry, with patriarch Ned Johnson founding Fidelity Investments in 1946.
Today, the company is run by his daughter, Abigail Johnson. Under her leadership, Fidelity has become one of the most successful asset managers in the world, with over $7 trillion in assets under management.
7. Wertheimer Family
With a net worth of $61.8 billion dollars, the Wertheimer family is one of the richest in the world. The family has a long history in the fashion industry. Their fortune comes from ownership of the luxury brand Chanel, which they have controlled for over 100 years. Their current patriarch, Alain Wertheimer, is considered one of the most influential figures in the fashion world.
The Wertheimers is a philanthropic family that has donated millions of dollars to charities worldwide. They are also major art collectors, and their collection includes some of the world's most valuable paintings.
6. The Ambani Family
The Ambani family is one of the richest families in the world, with a net worth of $93.7 billion. The family's story began in 1957 when Dhirubhai Ambani founded Reliance Textiles, eventually becoming one of India's largest conglomerates. Over the next several decades, the company diversified into other sectors and became one of India's most successful businesses.
The family patriarch, Mukesh Ambani, is currently the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, which has interests in a wide range of sectors, including standard oil and gas, petrochemicals, textiles, retail, and telecommunications. The Ambani family owns a controlling stake in the Indian Premier League cricket team, Mumbai Indians.
Today, billionaire Mukesh Ambani is the country's richest man, and his brother Anil Ambani is among the world's wealthiest people.
5. The Al Saud Family
With a net worth of $100 billion, The Al Saud Family is the fifth richest family in the world. This royal family has an estimated 5,000 members and is incredibly wealthy. The average net worth of a family member is $20 million.
They also have a huge private jet fleet, and their lifestyle is fit for royalty. In short, the Al Saud Family is one of the world's richest families. And they're not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
4. The Hermes Family
With a $111.6 billion fortune, the Dumas family, now in its sixth generation, owns Hermes, the renowned international French luxury goods company.
Hermes was founded in 1837 by patriarch Thierry Hermes, a leathercraft expert who initially made leather goods such as harnesses and bridles exclusively for royals and nobles. Accessories, clothing, perfume, and similar lines followed in the succeeding decades, with a special mention of the iconic Birkin bag for which Hermes is most known.
Though the company is publicly traded, 75% of its controlling shares are still in the hands of the Dumas/Hermes family. Hermes' CEO and chairman is Axel Dumas, while his cousin Pierre-Alexis Dumas is the co-chairman and creative director.
3. The Koch Family
The Koch family is the world's third wealthiest family, with a net worth of $124.4 billion. The Koch brothers, Charles and David, own 84% of Koch Industries. This massive conglomerate includes everything from oil and gas to chemical manufacturing and interests in agriculture, real estate, finance, and investment.
The Koch brothers' known political clout is not surprising, considering their vast holdings. They have recently poured billions of dollars into conservative causes and candidates, making them influential people in American politics.
2. The Mars Family
The Mars family is the second richest family in the world, with a net worth of $141.9 billion. The family's wealth comes from their ownership of Mars Incorporated, one of the largest food companies in the world.
Frank Mars founded the company in 1911, and today it produces some of the most popular candy and pet food brands, including M&M's, Snickers, and Pedigree. Jacqueline Mars has grown the brand tremendously during her time at the company, from 1982 to 2001. She’s one of the wealthiest women in the world.
The Mars family has long been known for their philanthropy, donating billions of dollars to causes such as education and medical research. The family also owns a significant amount of real estate, including several iconic properties in New York City.
Who is The Richest Family in the World?
According to Forbes, the top spot goes to the Walton family, the richest family in the world, with a net worth of $238.2 billion. The family patriarch, Sam Walton, founded Walmart in 1962, and today the company is the world's largest retailer.
The Waltons have continued to grow their fortune through Walmart and other investments. They are now the largest private landowners in the United States.
While the family has been criticized for their business practices, there is no denying their incredible wealth. The Waltons are a true American success story: one of hard work and determination. Thanks to their success, the Waltons can enjoy a life of luxury that most people only dream of.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Richest Families in the World
Are the Rothschilds the Richest Family in the World?
The Rothschild family is a dynasty of bankers, investors, business tycoons, and philanthropists with a history of over 200 years. They are widely considered among the world's most powerful people and influential families. Many believe that the Rothschilds are the richest people in the world, with a fortune estimated to be worth billions of dollars.
The family's wealth is derived from several sources, including banking, real estate, and other investments. The Rothschilds have also been major donors to charitable causes, often supporting arts and education.
While there is no definitive answer as to whether the Rothschilds are the richest family in the world, there is no doubt that they are one of the most powerful and influential families of our time.
Is There a Trillionaire Family in the World?
While there's no conclusive proof of such a claim, plenty of families could potentially meet the criteria, e.g., the Walton family with their over $238 billion net worth. The Koch brothers also have a combined wealth of $124 billion. We can't say with certainty there's a trillionaire family out there.
Ultra-rich families have accumulated their riches by engaging in a wide range of businesses (e.g., retail, finance, pharmaceuticals, and energy) all over the planet. Their wealth has been sustained through generations, and all listed here are thriving.
Their success stories inspire those of us who seek to build our own wealth, with or without a rich family.
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.
About the Author
Marjolein is the founder of Radical FIRE. She has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. Radical FIRE is a personal finance blog that helps you live your dream life through making more money and investing. We want you to reach your financial goals and have fun while doing it!