The 2023 Sunday Times Rich List has 171 UK billionaires, down by six from the previous year. This comes during a period of financial and economic hardship for the UK, as inflation has reached all-time highs over the last year and the cost of living has increased exponentially.
Meanwhile, the richest 350 people in the UK have a combined worth of £796.46 billion this year. Previously this sum was £710.72 billion, however, the previous list also featured 100 fewer people. Even Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty made the list for the second time, with a joint fortune of £529 million, placing them 275th as their wealth fell by around £200 million.
With that said, who are the UK’s richest? Do they share any traits? And which industry is the most common path to being a billionaire? Our UK online bingo experts at Slingo have researched these very questions, looking at the source of wealth, nationality, age and gender of each person in the top 50 of the Rich List.
The Richest People In The UK
1. Gopi Hinduja and family - Net Worth: £35 billion
Gopi Hinduja is the UK’s richest person, with a net worth of £35 billion. This is an increase of £6.53 billion since 2022 and the largest fortune recorded in the 34-year history of the Sunday Times Rich List. Gopi is the chairman of the Hinduja Group of companies, a role he previously shared with his late brother, which owns companies such as the British Metal Corporation and Quaker-Houghton International.
2. Sir Jim Ratcliffe - Net Worth: £29.69 billion
Sir Jim Ratcliffe takes the second spot, with a net worth of £29.69 billion, an increase of £23.61 billion on his net worth from the previous year, which saw him ranked 27th. He is the chairman of INEOS, a UK chemicals company. He has also expressed interest in investing in ownership of Manchester United, as the football club looks for new investors.
3. Sir Leonard Blavatnik - Net Worth: £28.63 billion
Sir Leonard Blavatnik, previously the fourth-richest man in the UK, has now risen to be the third-richest. His net worth had increased by £8.63 billion from 2022, up to £28.63 billion. He owns a very large share in the Warner Music Group and he is also the chairman of Access Industries Holdings, additionally, he was given a knighthood in 2017 for his services in philanthropy.
The Most Common Ways to Get Rich in the UK
There are a variety of ways and industries in which people in the UK can become wealthy, but which one is the most common to become incredibly rich? There were more than 80 different sources of wealth in the top 50 of the UK’s Rich List, which we’ve grouped into specific industries.
1. Financial Services
The most common source of wealth was financial services, which for the most part, involves banking, hedge funds, and investing. The richest person in the UK, Gopi Hinduja, made a massive fortune in this industry, as well as the Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik, who is also the third-richest person in the UK.
2. Real Estate and Property
Real Estate and Property came out as the second most common source of wealth for billionaires in the UK. This industry involves working in buying, selling and owning properties. David and Simon Reuben made their billions in this industry almost exclusively, starting with buying England’s oldest carpet company, J.Holdsworth & Co. The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family also own a property company, aptly named the Grosvenor Group.
3. Manufacturing and Industrial
The manufacturing and industrial industry is the third most common way that billionaires accumulated their massive wealth. This industry is made up of sectors such as chemicals, mining, steel, and textiles. Sir Len Blavatnik’s company, Access Industries Holdings, are largely involved in this industry, as one of their main focuses is natural resources and chemicals.
Rich List Characteristics: Gender and Age
Out of the top 50 of the Sunday Times Rich List that we looked at, there were 58 males and only nine females. In other terms, 87% of the top 50 richest people in the UK are male, whereas only 13% are female, illustrating a severe imbalance of wealth between genders.
Three of those nine females appear in the top ten of the Rich List. The highest ranked of those three is Alannah Weston, who was formerly chairman of Selfridges and is now a director for the family-holding company, Wittington Investments. As for the other two, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken has the largest stake in Heineken, one of the world's largest brewers. Kirsten Rausing earned her fortune being one-third ownership of Tetra Laval, a Swedish holding company.
The average age of the top 50 people in the Sunday Times Rich List is around 65. None of the top 50 wealthiest people in the UK were aged under 30, the youngest being the Duke of Westminster, aged 32.
Of the people in the top 50, 46.3% of them were aged between 50 and 70 years old, while 38.8% of people aged over 70. The smallest number of people were below the age of 50, with just 13.4% of people falling into that age group. This likely illustrates that, for the most part, it simply takes a greater amount of time to become a billionaire. As such, those that have amassed that amount of wealth, tend to be older.
Rich List Characteristics: Birthplace and Nationality
There was some diversity in the birthplace of the UK’s top 50 richest residents, with 20 countries being involved. However, the overwhelming majority of the people on this list were born in the United Kingdom, 30 in total.
The country with the joint-second highest number of people in the top 50 of the UK Rich List was Sweden and India, with six people each, respectively.
Once again, the most common nationality for the top 50 on the Sunday Times Rich List is British, with 34 people. The second most common nationality was those with multiple nationalities, with 10 such people featured on the top 50 of the list. This included people who were British-American, British-Indian, Irish-Canadian and more. Swedish, is the third most common nationality in the top 50 of the 2023 Sunday Times Rich List, featuring five people.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given that it is a UK-rich list, that the majority of people in the top 50 are British. However, there is quite a bit of diversity, with a range of different nationalities coming up.
The UK’s Richest Nepotism Babies
1. Jake Dyson
Job Title: R&D Director | Company: Dyson | Sunday Times Net Worth: £23 billion
The UK’s richest person, based on nepotism, is Jake Dyson. Granted that he has made a lot of progress in the development of lighting technology, it’s hard to ignore that his father founded Dyson and now Jake is the CEO. The Dyson’s ranked fifth on the Rich List, with a worth of £23 billion.
2. George G Weston
Job Title: CEO | Company: Associated British Foods | Sunday Times Net Worth: £14.5 billion
The second richest person, with nepotism potentially involved, is George G Weston. Currently, he is the CEO of Associated British Foods, with the previous CEO and company chairman being his father, Garry Weston. The Westons ranked seventh on the Sunday Times Rich List, with a net worth of around £14.5 billion, a £1 billion increase from the year before.
3. Lord Anthony Bamford
Job Title: Chairman | Company: JCB | Sunday Times Net Worth: £5.9 billion
JCB has been handed down to Lord Anthony Bamford, from the previous chairman and his father. In the time that he has been the chairman, he has turned JCB into something of a household name and amassed a net worth of £5.9 billion, ranking him 32nd on the Sunday Times Rich List, ten places higher than last year.
Firstly, we used the Sunday Times Rich List and took the top fifty people, recording their net worth and source of wealth. We then added the birthplace, nationality, age and gender of each person on the list - in some cases, there were multiple people for each listing - using Wikipedia.
We then used Raconteur to get a list of corporate nepo-babies in the UK.