Out of the 1,826 billionaires that Forbes has recorded, 11 percent of them are women. And while that number is quite low, it’s been growing over the years to hold some of the wealthiest women out there. For this list, we’re focusing on women who have ranked in the top 100 of Forbes list of billionaires. With these women’s wealth combined, they are worth $251.9 billion US dollars.
Worth $41.7 billion, we have the richest woman in the world in Christy Walton. A good portion of her wealth stems from her inheriting it from her husband, John Walton. John Walton accumulated his wealth by co-founding Wal-Mart. When he passed away in a plane crash in June 2005, Christy was in line of inheriting $18.2 billion US. When she gained that inheritance, she took to growing that money to where it’s at today.
A close second to Christy Walton is Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to the cosmetic company French L’Oreal’s fortune. On a global scale she’s second, but in Europe, she’s the richest woman in Europe with her wealth estimated to be at $40.1 billion US. For a long time, Liliane has been assisting the company to some degree. When L’Oreal was founded in 1907, she helped with running the company. That all changed in 2011 when her daughter forced her out of the company due to Liliane suffering from dementia and being unfit to manage.
Due to the massive success that Wal-Mart has provided, it’s not surprising to see many of the Walton family on this list. Alice Walton is John Walton’s sister and Christy Walton’s sister-in-law. She, along with John and Hames Lawrence “Bud” Walton, were all involved in founding the company. Now, Alice uses her wealth – estimated at $39.4 billion US – to help American artists. She is the founder of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art which is a national US art museum devoted to showing American artists work.