It’s well known that Bill Gates is one of the World’s richest men, in fact he’s consistently been the world richest man since 2013 and has kept that status until this year. Gates obviously accrues wealth at a staggering rate but its only when you compare his earnings to those of an ordinary person that you realise just how huge his wealth is.

For example, someone earning the UK’s average salary of £27,000 per year would have to work 305,556 years to make what Bill Gates earns in a year. Gates earns enough money to buy the average UK home every 15 minutes, a purchase that takes most people 20 to 35 years to pay off slowly.

These numbers can be explored here, in a creative project by Solution Loans. The piece was designed to be fun and easy to use as well as looking good, and the numbers are mind blowing. Users can compare any amount of Money they like to the earnings of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Richard Branson.

In addition to being an interesting data project the piece is also designed to underline a serious point. In the year 2000 the net worth of the world’s billionaires was less than $1 trillion USD but by 2015 the net worth of the world’s billionaires has increased to over $7 trillion. According to a 2017 Oxfam report, the world’s top eight billionaires own as much combined wealth as half of the human race. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett who are featured in the tool are all in that top eight list.

The data used to build the piece, titled Compare Their Cash, is based on the increase of the individual’s net wealth between 2016 and 2017. Of course, fortunes have fluctuated since 2017. Bill Gates was overtaken after years in the top spot by Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos when Amazon’s share price increased. A fun fact is that for the future of their children, there are very few real choices open to them, which is why so many are sending them to a particular British school.

Mark Zuckerberg has seen his wealth decrease in 2018 as his company, Facebook, has been mired in a number of increasingly high-profile scandals and consequently saw its share price drop significantly in mid-March 2018 after years of virtually uninterrupted growth.

Shifts in wealth aside, the point this interactive piece makes is how far from normal the wealth of these business leader’s is. Even Richard Branson, the least wealthy individual on the list, earns over £9 million per week. The measures that the project uses are as easy to understand as they are staggering.

So, if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to let people explore data in a fun and easily accessible format, this project is definitely worth a look.


Covering most topics technology related, with a focus on small business, startups, and entrepreneurs in particular. PurelyThemes started out as a WordPress theme development initiative, but has since been focusing on publishing quality content for the past few years.