Where billionaires like Elon Musk and Warren Buffett went to college


Stanford University is a billionaire-producing machine.Shutterstock/MintImages

  • Billionaires don’t all follow the same path to success, but some of them look pretty similar.
  • Of the world’s 2,754 billionaires, more than 560 hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from one of 10 American colleges.
  • Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and the founders of Google are all part of this group.
  • The top-producing billionaire colleges are Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania.

The world’s total billionaire population grew by nearly 15% from 2016 to 2017, to 2,754 people, according to Wealth-X’s latest Billionaire Census. 

While the path to mega-riches certainly isn’t the same for all, more than 560 of those billionaires — 567, to be exact — hold a degree from one of 10 top American colleges. That includes Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and the founders of Google.

In its tally, Wealth-X counted alumni with both undergraduate and graduate degrees, counting alumni of multiple institutions more than once, but left out those with diplomas, certificates, honorary degrees, and those who dropped out.

According to the report, 188 living billionaires are Harvard University alumni — and that doesn’t include Harvard dropouts Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, two of the richest men in the world.

The next highest-billionaire producing school is Stanford University, with 74 known billionaire alumni, including Nike cofounder Phil Knight. Notably absent from the list is Princeton University, the alma mater of Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person.

Below, check out the 10 US colleges that have minted the most billionaires.

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