There are nearly 7.4 billion people on planet Earth, but 74 men and women make the world turn. Forbes’ annual ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions mean the most. Hundreds of candidates were considered from various walks of life, and then measured along four distinct dimensions.
First, Forbes asked if the candidate had power over lots of people. Pope Francis (#5), for example, is the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics. Doug McMillon (#27) is the CEO of the world’s largest private employer, Walmart, with more than 2.3 million workers around the globe.
Second, financial resources were assessed. Third, diversity of power was considered. And finally, it was critical that the candidates actively used their power. To calculate the final rankings, a panel of Forbes editors ranked all of the candidates in each of these four dimensions of power, and those individual rankings were averaged into a composite score. This year’s list comes at a time of rapid and profound change, and represents their best guess about who will matter in the year to come.
For the fourth consecutive year, Russian President Vladimir Putin was ranked as the world’s most powerful person. But this was before President-elect Trump assumed office. There are several new names on the list.
So here they are – Forbes’ list of the most powerful people in the world. The top 20 follow . . .
1. Vladimir Putin – President of Russia
2. Donald Trump – President of the United States
3. Angela Merkel – Chancellor of Germany
4. Xi Jinping – General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
5. Pope Francis – Pope of the Roman Catholic Church
6. Janet Yellen – Chair of the Federal Reserve
7. Bill Gates – Chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
8. Larry Page – President of Alphabet
9. Nerendra Modi – Prime Minister of India
10. Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook
11. Mario Draghi – President of European Central Bank
12. Li Keqiang – Premier of China
13. Theresa May – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
14. Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon
15. Warren Buffet – CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
16. Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud – King of Saudi Arabia
17. Carlos Slim Helu – Chair of Grupo Carso
18. Ali Hoseini-Khamenci – Grand Ayatollah of Iran
19. Jamie Dimon – CEO of JPMorgan Chase
20. Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister of Israel