How Rich Has Elon Musk Been During Every Decade of His Life?


GEORGE NIKITIN / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

GEORGE NIKITIN / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

Elon Musk is the richest person in the world right now, according to Forbes. He has a ton of money — around $232 billion. But Musk didn’t become mega-rich overnight. He made his huge fortune over many years by starting up new companies and investing money in existing ones.

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Let’s look at just how rich Musk was during each decade, starting from his childhood in the 1970s, up until today.

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1970s

Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971. His family was very well-off, and he had a comfortable childhood. His mother, Maye Musk, was a successful model and dietitian, and his father, Errol Musk, was an engineer and real estate developer.

This set him up for future success. He benefited from his family’s substantial wealth, privilege and resources.

1980s

In the 1980s, the Musk family got even richer. Errol Musk purchased an emerald mine in Zambia, which was incredibly profitable. It’s estimated that the Musk family wealth grew to over $100 million during the 1980s.

​​The immense profits from the mine provided Elon Musk with financial security as he left South Africa to pursue higher education in Canada and later the United States. The family’s massive wealth also gave him the freedom to take risks as an entrepreneur. However, Musk has said that his family’s money wasn’t a big factor in his success.

1990s

The 1990s marked the beginning of Musk’s entrepreneurial journey. After dropping out of Stanford University, Musk and his brother Kimbal co-founded Zip2, a city guide software company.

Zip2 was acquired by Compaq for $305 million in 1999, leaving Musk with a substantial $22 million share of the proceeds.

2000s

The 2000s marked a period of enormous growth for Musk’s wealth.

Musk co-founded X.com, an online bank, in 1999. Then, in 2000, X.com merged with its rival, Confinity, and in 2001, it was renamed to PayPal. In 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for a whopping $1.5 billion. Musk, the largest shareholder, walked away with $165 million from the sale.

Musk used $100 million of this money to found SpaceX in 2002.

Simultaneously, he became an early investor in Tesla, which was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Over time, Musk assumed an increasingly active role in the company, ultimately becoming its CEO in 2008.

By the end of the 2000s, Musk’s net worth was estimated to be $1 billion, largely due to the profits from the sale of PayPal and the early growth of SpaceX and Tesla.

2010s

Musk made astonishing amounts of money in the 2010s as his companies, especially Tesla, hit new heights. Initially, Tesla struggled to turn a profit and suffered some early losses. Tesla debuted on the NASDAQ in 2010 at $17 per share. By the end of the 2010s, Tesla stock was trading at around $27 per share. Tesla’s success was fueled by surging demand for electric cars and its innovative manufacturing and marketing strategies.

Musk also expanded SpaceX’s operations during this time, with the company securing multiple lucrative NASA contracts.

For much of the 2010s, Musk’s net worth hovered between the $10-$20 billion mark. As Tesla sold more cars and started to carve out a growing market share, Musk’s wealth ballooned. By 2019, his net worth had grown to around $22 billion.

2020s

The 2020s have been incredibly lucrative for Musk so far. His net worth has continued to rise astronomically thanks to Tesla’s unrelenting growth. In 2020 alone, his wealth increased by $142 billion. Tesla’s share price surged to more than $400 in late 2021, making Musk the richest person in the world. In November 2021, his fortune peaked at $320 billion. In December 2022, a dip in Tesla’s share price brought his net worth back down a bit.

As of 2024, Musk’s net worth is estimated at $232 billion.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Rich Has Elon Musk Been During Every Decade of His Life?



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