32% of the world’s richest people are bilingual – see who they are

Do people who speak more than one language earn more money? When Forbes released its 2022 World Billionaire List, it became apparent that a pattern could be detected: many of the billionaires were able to speak a second language.

To investigate further, a new study by Preply has revealed that a staggering 32% of the richest people in the world can speak another language.

Falling just behind Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos is Benard Arnault, chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, is worth a whopping $158,000,000,000 (£130bn). His first language is French, but he can also speak English, German and Italian. With Germany sitting as the third richest country in the world and the UK ranking fifth on the same list, it is not surprising that the billionaire opted to learn these languages.

Seventh on the list is Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, with a net worth of $107,000,000,000 (£88bn). While English is his first language, the entrepreneur also speaks Russian.

Steve Ballmer, 10th on the rich list, is worth $91,400,000,000 (£75bn) and speaks French as well as his first language, English.

Mukesh Ambani, director of Reliance Industries Ltd and worth $90,700,000,000 (£75.2bn), comes in at 11th on the list. With Gujarati as his first language, the billionaire has managed to forge immense success – unsurprising as this dialect is spoken by over 46 million people, across India, the United States and the UK. As his second language, he also speaks English.

Michael Bloomberg, 13th on the list and worth $82,000,000,000 (£68bn), speaks English as his first language and Spanish as his second.

Do the richest people on the planet speak more than one language?

To further investigate the correlation between language and wealth, the team at Preply also drew results from the way countries speak about the future, and whether there is a pay divide between bilingual and non-bilingual jobs. 

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