What Is the Biggest Industry in the World in 2023?

The key to securing returns on investment in any business venture lies in the selection of the right niche and adequate capital funding. At the moment, certain leading industries have reported the highest revenue figures in 2023, making them the go-to enterprises for affluent individuals and billionaires worldwide to channel their resources into.

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What are the major industries that billionaires invest in?

Becoming a billionaire on the Forbes list is no easy feat, but there are plenty of paths to financial success. However, make sure that your investments will generate reliable profits and provide for your loved ones’ futures. To achieve this, we recommend thoroughly researching the most profitable industries in the world that affluent individuals are currently putting their money into.

Top 5 industries where billionaires from the Forbes list earn their fortunes

  1. Finance and investment dominate the list of billionaires on Forbes. In 2023, the sector welcomed 24 newcomers, accounting for 14% of the entire list of wealthy individuals. Holding the top spot as the richest investor is Warren Buffet, who has a net worth of USD 106,000,000,000 and is the 5th richest person in the world.
  2. Manufacturing is the 2nd most popular industry among the wealthy, with 324 billionaires currently in this field. The wealthiest individual is Reinhold Wuerth from Germany, who took over his family’s screw and fastener business in 1954. The company has since grown into a global powerhouse with an annual sales volume of USD 16,000,000,000.
  3. The hi-tech industry, which had a tumultuous year, comes in 3rd place. For the 2nd consecutive year, the number of billionaires in this sector has declined, with only 313 remaining in 2023. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, holds the title of the wealthiest magnate in the industry with a fortune of USD 180,000,000,000.
  4. Fashion and retail trade take the 4th spot, with the number of billionaire participants going up to 266, thanks to a 19-person increase in 2023. Bernard Arnault, the chairman of luxury goods giant LVMH, is the richest person in the industry with a net worth of USD 211,000,000,000.
  5. Finally, the food and beverages sector has 212 billionaires, with Mark Mateschitz, the heir of Red Bull’s late Austrian co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, being the wealthiest among them.
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Top 10 industries the world’s richest people profit from in 2023

The wealthiest industries in the world are those that attract HNWIs looking to grow their fortunes. Forbes has identified the leading trades that have helped the world’s billionaires increase their wealth:

  1. Finance and investment: 372 billionaires (14% of the Forbes list) prefer the industry.
  2. Manufacturing: 324 billionaires (12% of the Forbes list) choose the field.
  3. Hi-tech: 313 wealthy individuals (12% of the list) prioritize the industry.
  4. Fashion and retail: 266 Forbes billionaires (10%) have improved their wealth through this field.
  5. Food and beverages: 212 wealthy investors (8% of the Forbes list) have chosen the industry.
  6. Healthcare and related industries, including insurance: 201 billionaires are making their super profits here.
  7. Real estate: It’s not just for the ultra-rich anymore, with 193 billionaires (7% of the list) choosing this line of business in 2023.
  8. Multilateral investments and capital management: 187 wealthy individuals are using this strategy to increase their wealth in 2023, with Mukesh Ambani (Chairman of Reliance Industries) being the richest of them all.
  9. Energy: A constant source of income for 100 billionaires on the list (4%).
  10. Media and entertainment: Completing the list of the world’s most profitable industries in 2023 according to Forbes, with 91 UHNWIs on the list in this field.

Looking to explore the topic in more depth? At International Wealth, we’ve got you covered with a couple of related articles to peruse:

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The world’s richest industries based on revenue volume in 2023

Apart from the Forbes ranking, we recommend you consider the industries sorted by revenue for the year 2023. This will make it easier for you to decide where to invest assets and how to potentially earn a significant fortune.

Here are the largest industries in the world by revenue in 2023:

  1. International life and health insurance industry generated USD 4,629.2 billion in 2023.
  2. Global pension funds jointly produced revenue of USD 4,015.9 billion in 2023.
  3. Commercial real estate secured the 3rd spot on the list with a profit of USD 3,915.4 billion in 2023.
  4. Although the global auto sales industry witnessed a decline in revenue growth, it still retained its leadership position by earning USD 3,600.5 billion in 2023.
  5. Despite being affected by the global crisis up to 2021, direct general insurance companies witnessed an increase in demand for insurance products in 2023, generating revenue of USD 2,891.3 billion.
  6. Car manufacturing, with revenue of USD 2,689.0 billion in 2023, has improved due to the rising preference for hybrid electric vehicles over gasoline and diesel engines among affluent customers.
  7. While the banking and finance industry is not the top earner in terms of profitability in 2023, it maintains its position with revenue of USD 2,489.0 billion. The industry has been impacted by economic fluctuations, restructuring law reforms in most countries, and active capital outflow accelerated by sanctions.
  8. The oil and gas extraction industry is still among the wealthiest in the world, earning revenue of USD 2,073.5 billion in 2023, despite global transformations, restructuring of logistics routes, and supplier changes.
  9. The production of auto parts and components saw a decline in revenue by 6.3% in 2022. Experts predict that profits will continue to decrease in 2023 and stabilize only after an increase in demand for automotive transportation. Currently, the industry generates revenue of USD 1,827.9 billion.
  10. Global engineering services is an industry with revenue of USD 1,574.8 billion in 2023.
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