Billionaire philanthropist Henry Bill Gates III

The world might get the first trillionaire in the 21st century. According to a hypothetical analysis by Oxfam, with an 11 per cent annual growth rate since 2009, Microsft founder Bill Gates could become a trillionaire in the next 25 years in 2042, when he is aged 86.

Oxfam, an international network of organizations collectively working to alleviate global poverty, recently published a report with findings that eight billionaires from around the globe have as much money as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.

When Gates left Microsoft in 2006, his net worth was $50 billion, according to Oxfam. By 2016, his wealth had increased to $75 billion (currently estimated at US$84b), ‘despite his commendable attempts to give it away through his Foundation’, the report says.

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In addition to the charitable work Gates does through his personal foundation, he is one of the founding members of The Giving Pledge, a commitment from some of the richest individuals in the world to give away more than half of their worth.

“In such an environment, if you are already rich, you have to try hard not to keep getting a lot richer,” Oxfam notes.