Yesterday, Forbes published its list of the “Most Powerful People on Earth.” The people on the list come from all walks of life. Some are heads of state, others religious figures, technology geniuses, or celebrities.
To make the list, Forbes looked at how many people a person had influence over. For heads of state, they looked at the population. For religious leaders, the size of their flock, and so on. Next, they looked at financial worth in relation to their peers. For instance, net worth for billionaires, and GDP for political figures.
Thirdly, they looked at global reach. To be on Forbes Most Powerful list, you have to be able to influence people around the globe. And lastly, they looked at use of power. What good is it being a billionaire if all your money sits in a savings account?
Based on that criteria, Forbes picked 68 people to put on their Most Powerful People on Earth list. Here are the top ten most powerful people.
Hu Jintao is the political leader of 3.2 billion people, more than anyone else on the planet. He also has dictatorial control, and can do what he wants without worrying about the bickering of a split party system. China also recently surpassed Japan to become the second largest economy.
President Obama was last year’s most powerful man, but with a devastating midterm election, Obama could find it hard to enforce his policies in the next two years.
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud
Not only is Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud the king and absolute ruler of land that hosts two holiest sites in Islam. He is also in control of the world’s largest crude oil reserves. Forbes estimates that he rules over one-fifth of the planets oil supply.
The Prime Minister over one-ninth of the world’s land.
Pope Benedict XVI
The pope rules over more than 1.1 billion souls, or one-sixth of the population.
The most powerful woman on the planet overseas Europe’s largest economy.
David Cameron is the youngest Prime Minister in nearly 200 years.
The Fed’s influence is at an all-time high, and the man in charge is Ben Bernake.
Ghandi has influence over 1.2 billion people in India, and was just elected to her fourth term.
Bill Gates earned his money with Microsoft, but he earned his power by giving it away. Gates encouraged 40 of the world’s richest people to sign his “giving pledge” this year.
You can see the other 58 people on the World’s Most Powerful list at Forbes.