Who is the world’s most influential person? What does it take to be at the top of the list of the world? It is either due to their political background, position, business empire, or a combination of various other factors. So, brace yourself as we are going through the list for 2021’s fresh start to see who stands among the top 50.
How We Made The List?
A definition of an influential person dramatically varies. Some would say it is the influence they have, while others would say it’s the money. However, we reviewed various factors and learned about some facts. From leading the strongest military to connecting with multiple governments and organizations, this list has the most powerful people ‘overall.’
We even probed into unknown territories like the internet and Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to control it. That’s how we bring you this list. It isn’t just about having the strongest military but also what these people can do on Earth as we know it. So, let’s start:
List Of 50 Most Powerful People In The World 2021
Now, let’s get to know a little bit about all the 50 powerful people who made it to the list.
1. Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping is the leader of China, the most populated country in the world. The country also has the second-largest GDP growth. He is the political monarch and has managed to remove restrictions on his powers and capabilities as the country’s leader.
While many people in the world might not have a favorable view of China or the leader, he is still one of the most admired leaders. He influences people’s admiration for he is true to the ‘Chinese Dream’ life. Among many figures on the list, he also has the most known public profile, connecting with the people remarkably well.
2. Vladimir Putin
Vladimir has been among the top 10 most powerful people around seven times consistently. He has managed to make Russia a dominating country as its president. Europe highly depends on Russia for its oil and gas supply. This leads Putin to have a strong influence across the globe.
Before becoming the president or entering politics, Putin was a KGB agent with a remarkable track record. He is often a popular choice for meme materials and a hot topic for masculinity and an alpha male example due to various endeavors like hunting, fishing, and even flying helicopters.
With Russian military power and a strong personality of influence, he stands among the world’s top powerful people.
3. Donald Trump
Some would argue that Joe Biden should be on the list as the US President, but it’s more about being a president. We all saw the revolt in the White House for the sake of Donald Trump, and that’s without him invoking anything or inciting any violent action.
Trump has a lot of power as a billionaire ex-president of America. He owns a lot of buildings in real estate, especially in Manhattan, New Work. There are various businesses he owns around the globe.
While he’s been a part of the controversies for more than his fair share, there’s no doubt that he is among the most powerful people in the world, thanks to the ex-president of the USA status.
4. Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel was the first female Chancellor of Germany. She played a prominent role in assisting Germany to come back from the ashes. In other words, she was a driving force behind Germany’s financial crisis and has turned tired for the largest economy.
She is known for being quite bold and not being afraid to do what she thinks is right. This includes opening the doorway to Syrian refugees or standing against the president of the USA. She is among the most trusted leaders (with over 75% approval) in around 14 different countries of Europe.
Anyone coming after Merkel in power would have to fill big shoes, and that’s what everyone is afraid of. She has consistently performed exceptionally.
5. Jeff Bezos
You might know Jeff Bezos as the richest man, often clashing with Elon Musk. He is now an Ex-CEO of Amazon, but as its owner, he has a vast influence. Amazon has created a unique niche globally, and as its pioneer, Jeff has a lot of power in his hands.
While other companies were cutting the losses and firing employees, Amazon hired more people during the pandemic. Bezos has been a part of several humanitarian works like providing donations. He is also the owner of The Washington Post and Blue Origin.
Much like Elon, he wants to develop rockets for commercial space travel.
6. Pope Francis
Pope Francis is the world’s most influential spiritual leader. There are over 1.3 billion people in the world that are Catholic. This makes him a person in a powerful position at the Catholic Church. He has been working on transforming the conservative image of the Church as well.
While he is indeed moving towards a more liberal thought, he is still keeping traditional values alive. Some of his decisions include providing power to the priests to forgive women who undergo an abortion. He has actively spoken regarding climate change and much more.
7. Bill Gates
Who doesn’t know Bill Gates? He is an exemplary humanitarian who has donated much more (around $37 billion) for charity, foundations, and other good work than any other person on the list. He is among the most phenomenal figures in the world.
He would’ve been the wealthiest person, undisputed, but he only decided to own around 1% of Microsoft’s shares. Bill Gates also stepped down from any position like CEO, Board Of Directors, and any other position. Yet, he is still prosperous and continues to work for the well-being of humanity.
8. Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud
Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is the prince of Saudi Arabia. While his father is still crowned the king, the prince retains all the country’s power and control. He has single-handedly eliminated several corrupted officials from his government body and the nation.
Many of the billionaires were revoked of their position. There’s no doubt that he is the epitome of power and influence in the middle-eastern countries. Saudi Arabia is also the wealthiest country and supplies oil around the globe. This gives him a lot of influence over various countries.
9. Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi is an influential Prime Minister Of India. He has introduced several reforms across the country and has changed them for good. Today, the world realizes India’s potential as a market due to Modi’s efforts at improving foreign relations. He is also a famous and most celebrated leader of all time.
His influence and power as the country’s leader with the second-highest population and third most powerful military also speak volumes. His popularity consistently expands as a leader. He has been named a revolutionary by many magazines, as well.
10. Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is the owner of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and many other social platforms. He is the reason for the revolutionary approach to social media. Today, the digital world is exponential, thanks to him. As a man who sits at the top, he might very well have more information and control over the people than anyone realizes.
Nobody knows what he might be up to, and while he is pretty public, he is not that easy to approach. Mark Zuckerberg is mysterious, and with control over communications (online), you might say he knows more about us than we might know ourselves. This makes him dangerous and one of the most powerful people in the world.
11. Larry Page
Larry Page is another famous name from the digital spectrum like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. He is the mastermind behind Google, as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Although he has stepped down, he has a lot of wealth and influence.
He is funding various new-generation technologies like space programs ‘Planetary Resources’ and flying cars as an investor. While he might not seem like much of a threat, he is the internet itself as he has control and influence in Google.
12. Jerome H. Powell
Jerome H. Powell is a former lawyer and an investment banker who is now the 16th Chair of The Federal Reserve System. He is among the most powerful and influential people in that position, and that’s what has him going.
Powell is also incredibly wealthy and doesn’t mind locking horns with people under power. While he might not be the best person at economical dealerships and predictions, he does hold power. This makes him dangerous and powerful, both.
13. Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron is the president of France. He was also the youngest President. He has strong approval ratings, and as France is the third strongest economy in Europe, he holds quite a lot of influence. His economic background as an investment banker and economy minister further puts him positively as a well-driven personality.
He has indeed brought several reforms but his personality to not falter away even in the greatest adversities makes him a formidable personality.
14. Borin Johnson
Theresa May would’ve been in this position, but Boris Johnson has become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is often compared to Donald Trump for his controversial popularity, but he is still an influential personality.
He is pro-Brexit, so he is looking towards a better future for the country. As a newly in-power political figure, he stands among the top 50 most influential people globally for all the right reasons.
15. Li Kequiang
Li Kequiang is the second most powerful man in China after Xi Jinping. He often travels and hosts various leaders for the economic and security integrity of the country. Li Kequiang has been the reason for China’s positive relations with multiple countries.
He is known for being sharp intellect with a calm temper to act without letting emotions or impulses take over. His firm communications and diplomacy make him one of the most powerful people in the world.
16. Warren Buffet
Warren Buffet was once known as the most successful investor with the title of ‘Oracle Of Omaha.’ He is the owner of Berkshire Hathaway that owns more than 60 companies worldwide. This gives him a lot of control and influence almost everywhere.
Recently, he has been a part of meme trends and has been growing in popularity. He launched The ‘Giving Pledge’ with Bill Gates to get various billionaires to sign a pledge. Thus, he will be one of the people to donate 99% of his wealth to the foundations.
17. Ali Hoseini-Khamenei
The Grand Ayatollah Of Iran, Khamenei, is one of the world’s most powerful supreme leaders. Often, he is known as an anti-US leader, going as far as thanking Trump for all the negative light America received over the years.
As Iran is the major military power in the Middle-east, Ali Hoseini-Khamenei is one of the world’s most powerful people. He doesn’t hesitate to take action. These things make him a pretty fearsome personality.
18. Mario Draghi
The President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, is often known as ‘Super Mario.’ It’s due to this ability to understand and even navigate European politics. He also has some influence in the World Bank as he worked there before becoming the ECB president.
As someone who has control over the bank, he can bring any reforms anytime he desires. With economic power under his control, he is indeed one of the most influential people in the world on the list.
19. Jamie Dimon
Jamie Dimon is the CEO of Chase, the bank with the most significant number of assets in America. While it is a private bank, controlling and dominating the American economy through a bank makes him a person in control and a mighty position.
He is also one of the people who beat cancer (throat cancer). Therefore, nothing can stop him in his tracks. Jamie Dimon is one of the most successful people outside the digital world on the list.
20. Carlos Slim Helu
Carlos Slim Helu is the richest man in Mexico. Thus, the controls America Movil, which also has Telmex for Mexican and Latin American telecom communications. Helu also has stakes in various Mexican constructions, real estate companies, mining firms, and consumer good companies. He even owns 17% of The New York Times.
These things point to his influence as the richest man and a successful businessman. He is 20th on the list and without any political background. This speaks volumes of his influence and power.
21. Jack Ma
Jack Ma is another Chinese giant on the list. He is a powerful businessman and the founder of Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce platform that delivers globally. His contributions have played a significant role in expanding China as a growing market and attracting foreign prospects.
He has stakes in Chinese media and entertainment companies, as well. Jack has been consistent in the list of powerful and wealthy people around the world.
22. Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde is the President Of the European Central Bank. Therefore, her statements can make a huge impact around the world, especially for the corporate world. For instance, her statement of 2021 being a difficult first half for recovery braced companies around the globe for low growth.
Of course, she is also a torchbearer of feminism and has worked relentlessly to bring reforms in the banks and other places for female workers. This makes her an admirable personality.
23. Doug McMillon
Doug McMillon is an example that you don’t need to be born in the business to lead it. He is the CEO of Wal-Mart, the largest retail store. However, he initially worked as a teenager unloading the trucks for the delivery. His expertise and insights have led Wal-Mart to success.
With control on the retail world through Wal-Mart, he dominates the competition and has the power to control the people’s daily needs.
24. Tim Cook
Tim Cook is the new face of technology and innovation. He is the CEO of Apple, and you could compare him to Steve Jobs in many regards. As he runs the most successful business in the world, Apple is the most profitable company. Thus, he can change the tides of the technology whenever he likes through a product.
As Apple has become synonymous with premium services, Tim Cook can introduce anything and watch the world follow along.
25. Elon Musk
Elon Musk is often known as the real-life Tony Stark. He has the power to influence the shares of his company through a simple tweet or message. His popularity is grossing worldwide with more admirers. He is striving to revolutionize transportation for a more eco-friendly future by bringing electric and automatic cards.
Like Jeff, he owns a Space X company that is working on commercializing space travel.
26. Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel, a mighty nation. Although he’s been a part of controversy for corruption and favoring businessmen, he remains the undisputed Prime Minister.
If rumors are believed, he might be one of the more powerful and corrupt people with an entire country under his command.
27. Ma Huateng
Ma Huateng is the CEO and chairman of Tencent Holdings. The company is known for being quite active in the technology field. PUBG Mobile, WeChat, and Tencent Music are some of the prominent examples of his company’s work.
He is the only undisputed rival of Jack Ma as a Chinese business tycoon. Ma Huateng also falls among the top richest people in the world, consistently rising in the ranks.
28. Larry Fink
Larry Fink is the co-founder and CEO of Blackrock, an asset management company. The company has over $5.3 trillion in investment, making it the world’s most successful business. Larry Fink knows how to use powerplay and dominate the competition. His successful strategies make him either a threat or an invaluable asset in the business world.
Larry Fink is also a frequent name in the Global Game Changers list.
29. Akio Toyoda
Akio Toyoda is the new heir in the line for the Toyota Company. Under his direction, the company has reaped a massive $10 billion profits and has sold over 10.5 million more cars. These are older statistics but it shows his prowess.
The company is set to enter the flying vehicle and automatic driving industry. If successful, Akio Toyoda will dominate the transportation and shape it.
30. John L. Flannery
John L. Flannery is the CEO of General Electric and currently holds command over its entire empire. This includes healthcare, energy, and other sectors. As the 21st largest corporation in the world, John L. Flannery has significant power under his name.
31. Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is multilingual and has actively pursued various world problems. It goes without saying that the man in such a position is bound to have a lot of power and influence.
As he doesn’t have much of a ‘financial background,’ he is ranking low. Otherwise, he is indeed one of the most powerful people in the world.
32. Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani is the undisputed business tycoon from India. He is consistently rising the ranks and has become the ‘monopoly’ of India. For instance, he is the sole reason (Reliance Industry) for the war of competitive or cheap internet across India (Jio vs. other telecoms).
Reliance Industry is dominant in almost every field, and he has also maintained a strong presence for the public.
33. Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker is the President Of the European Commission and the European Union. He has been in the position since 2014 and has to work relentlessly to restore the Union’s faith and fight against anti-EU sentiments.
Jean-Claude Juncker is against the Brexit initiative. As he can represent and dominate the policy agenda, he holds a lot of power.
34. Darren Woods
Darren Woods is the CEO of ExxonMobil, the largest public company for trading oil and gas. As a result, he holds influence similar to oil tycoons worldwide. He has a lot of power, and while the company might be struggling to make tangible profits, it is still steady, and the world relies on it.
Therefore, Darren Woods is undoubtedly worth mentioning in the list of the most powerful people.
35. Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin is another influential self-made person on the list, on par with Larry Page. He is the co-founder of Google and has been on the Forbes 400 lists, Billionaires of 2020, most powerful people, and richest in tech.
Although he stepped down from the president’s role, he still holds a lot of power and influence. Currently, he is working on a high-tech airship project and might once again change the world’s face as we know it.
36. Kim Jong-Un
The supreme leader of North Korea controls the life of over 25 million people with an ironclad dictatorship. He has been an adamant leader and has stood his ground against some second-largest powerful leaders like Trump.
With complete control and dictatorship, he is among the most powerful people in the world.
37. Charles Koch
Charles Koch is the CEO of America’s second-largest company (private), Koch Industries. The company is everywhere, from pipelines to chemicals, Stainmaster carpet, and Dixie cups.
He still holds 42% of stakes in the company, keeping a high level of power. As the second-largest company’s owner, he has influence and power, both.
38. Shinzo Abe
Shinzo Abe is the successful Prime Minister of Japan so much that he has helped Japan grow economically with billions of dollars in investment. As a rising superpower, he has led Japan to the position to break military neutrality if push comes to shove.
As an adamant leader who wouldn’t flinch away from the decision, Shinzo Abe restores Japan to the former glory. This makes him a pretty formidable personality. As he is no dictator, he is lower on the list. Otherwise, he could’ve been equally or more capable than Kim Jong-Un on the list.
39. Ruper Murdoch
The one who controls the news and media can control the world. That’s how powerful Ruper Murdoch is as he holds the media empire like Fox News, The Times Of London, and The Wall Street Journal. Even though he has sold some channels and rights to Disney, he still reigns supreme as one of the most powerful people.
He has enough power and finance to support any candidate running for president, as seen with his support for Mike Bloomberg for the presidency against Trump.
40. Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella is the third CEO of Microsoft after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Under his supervision, Microsoft stocks had exponential growth of around 150%. He became the driving innovation to pull the company out from the grave when it focused on windows mobile.
Instead, he revolutionized the cloud computing and enterprise group. As a result, Microsoft is now known as a professional suite and software company. He has a vision for the future with investment in things like augmented reality. These qualities could very much make him the next Bill Gates or someone even better.
After all, he is consistently raising the most powerful people and wealthiest people in the world.
41. Jim Yong Kim
Jim Young Kim is the president of the World Bank and has been re-elected again. He is driving an initiative to reduce the world’s poverty and increase the incomes of the people. More importantly, as an anthropologist and a medical doctor, he strives towards a better climate, clean energy, and much more.
As a prominent figure from the World Bank, he holds a lot of power, influence, and control over money.
42. Stephen Schwarzman
The chairman and CEO of Blackstone Group, Stephen Schwarzman, is another notable figure on the list. He has grown the company’s assets to be well above 500 billion dollars.
The merger and acquisition business firm has become a dominating company in Wall Street, and as such, he holds a lot of influence in the area.
43. Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan
Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan is the ruler of Abu Dhabi. He is among the world’s wealthiest monarchs. Khalifa runs the largest sovereign wealth fund and controls barrels of the reserve.
His military power has gone toe-to-toe against the likes of ISIS.
44. Haruhiko Kuroda
Haruhiko Kuroda is another influential personality from Japan as the president of the Bank Of Japan. He has been the correlative force for Japan’s economic growth.
There isn’t much else to know about him, except that his financial prowess and economic expertise are commendable enough for the president to re-elect him, making him worth mentioning on the list.
45. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi
Abdel Fattah el Sisi was once the military chief of Egypt, but now the president. Thus, he is the largest state in the Arab world and the second-largest economy in Africa. So far, he is undisputed with over 97% approval ratings and votes.
He is consistently bringing economic reforms, standing against civil liberties, and even going against ISIS. This makes him as powerful as the Khalifa Bin Zayed, Shinzo Abe, and other prominent leaders on the list.
46. Li Ka-Shing
Li Ka-Shing is another dominant name in Asia as one of the most influential businessmen of all time. He was once the chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings and other branch companies but now acts as a Senior Advisor.
Therefore, he is among the most powerful businessmen in the world, originating from China.
47. Lloyd Blankfein
Lloyd Blankfein is another investment banker on the list. He holds extreme aptitude for economics, finance, and other money-related fields. Therefore, his insights are one of the most valuable in the world.
Before becoming the former CEO of Sachs, he secured more than $1.5 Trillion in Assets, making him a huge success.
48. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Erdogan is the president of Turkey and has managed to reform the system to autocracy. He has worked to help Turkey establish a more dominating power in the world.
The same goes for personal endeavors. He has a lot of power with the geographical benefit of the country’s location. It also has a strong military force.
49. Bob Iger
Bob Iger is the 13th CEO of Disney and has gradually been dominating the entertainment industry. Almost bringing it to the verge of monopoly, Bob has managed to own Fox Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Lucas Films, and much more. There were rumors about him running for the presidential elections.
But as he controls the entertainment world, we might see him become a sensation later in the coming years.
50. Michael Temer
Finally, at the end of the list is Michael Temer, the President of Brazil. He is doing a commendable job at helping the country grow, that we might just expect big things from him.
Nothing much is to be said for now, except that being a leader of such a country does put him in a strong position, and his leadership qualities do affirm him to be among the top 50 most powerful people in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Robbery Downey Junior, Dwyane The Rock Johnson, Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Will Smith, Vin Diesel, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Tom Cruise are among the most influential and powerful actors in the world. Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Jackman also make it to the list.
Here is the list of the top five most powerful women in the world.
- Angela Merkel.
- Theresa May.
- Melinda Gates.
- Sheryl Sandberg.
- Mary Barra.
Being powerful has nothing to do with just money. It is also about relationships with other people, the government, and the influence you have. If you can impact the world through your connections and position, you’re powerful. That’s what this list is about.
No. While having money contributes, if you look at the top 10, some are just political leaders. Therefore, it is not essential, but it could reinforce the position by making it stronger if you wish for it.
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This concludes the list of the top 50 most powerful people in the world. Remember, each person on the list can have a drastic global effect on the world. It could be through economic, financial, or military power. Some might influence in another manner. That’s what made them part of this list. It’s not just money or fame. It’s the influence their position brings. We hope that the list satisfies you.
Another point to remember is that the list will consistently change. Recently, the battle for power has become more unstable and fluctuated. The world is constantly evolving in an unpredictable manner. So, keep yourself up to date with the list if you want the best information.