Bill Gates Net Worth: 5 Facts You Should Know

Bill GatesBill Gates’ net worth is $82.9 billion. But do you know much he has donated to charities ever since he became a billionaire? And you might be surprised to hear what the size of his stake in Microsoft Corporation is really worth. Here are five facts about Bill Gates and how he grew his net worth.

1. Bill Gates’ Net Worth Is $82.9 Billion

As of March 4, 2016, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has a net worth of $82.9 billion. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 7, 2016.)

However, Forbes, the famous American business magazine, pegs Gates’ net worth slightly lower at $76.7 billion. (Source: “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, last accessed March 7, 2016.)

According to Forbes, Bill Gates is the richest person in both the United States and the world, but he is the world’s sixth most powerful person, falling behind Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and Xi Jinping. (Source: “The World’s Most Powerful People,” Forbes, April 11, 2015;

2. Bill Gates Owns Just 2.6% of Microsoft

Bill Gates holds a 2.6% stake in the publicly traded Redmond, Washington-based company, which is currently worth $401 billion. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 7, 2016.)

The rest of his fortune is managed through closely held Cascade Investment, which controls stakes in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL), Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), and dozens of other publicly traded companies. (Source: Ibid.)

3. Bill Gates Has Donated Over $28.0 Billion to Charities

Since becoming a billionaire, Bill Gates has donated more than $28.0 billion to charities. He started giving to charity in 1999, when he donated $16.0 billion in Microsoft stock to his family foundation. (Source: “Bill Gates Net Worth,” The Richest, retrieved March 7, 2016;

His family’s charity tackles AIDS, tuberculosis, and polio, and funds famine-resistant crops to fight hunger with a focus in Africa. (Source: Ibid.)

4. At Age 18, Gates Scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT

The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973, scoring 1590 out of a possible 1600 on the SAT, and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973. (Sources: “Bill Gates Net Worth,” Celebrity Net Worth;, last accessed March 7, 2016.)

5. Bill Gates Was Born to Successful Parents

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington in 1955 to successful parents; his father was a lawyer and his mother was president of the local United Way and the First Interstate BancSystem. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 7, 2016.)

Gates’ maternal grandfather was J.W. Maxwell, a national bank president.

Bill Gates’ Net Worth by Year

Year Net Worth
2016 $82.9 billion
2015 $79.2 billion
2014 $76 billion
2013 $72 billion

Data source: Forbes