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  2. How Much Does Elon Musk Make a Year

How Much Money Does Elon Make a Year in 2023 (Elon Musk’s Annual Income)

Our full breakdown of how much money the richest American makes a year.

Jane Tumar - Finance Writer
Written by
Finance Writer
Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert
Reviewed by
Personal Finance Expert
7 min
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Table of contents:

Billionaires are like dragons hoarding wealth—only instead of sitting on a pile of treasure, they own stocks and shares. It’s still fun to imagine them diving into a pool filled with gold coins à la Scrooge McDuck.

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The truth is Elon Musk is a lot more loaded than Smaug or Scrooge McDuck—his net worth is three times larger than what Forbes estimates for those richest fictional characters.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • What is Elon Musk worth?
  • How we used different calculation methods to figure out how much he makes a year.
  • How to wrap your head around his immense wealth.

See related questions and answers:

(Want to be a billionaire yourself? Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, has an amazing 14-video Masterclass on how to build a billion dollar company from scratch. If anyone should know how to do it, it's her...well, her and Elon Musk.) 

How Much Does Elon Musk Make a Year

Elon Musk makes $14.39 billion a year on average based on the net worth he amassed over the last decade that brought him to $146.5 billion at the time of writing. He made $135 billion in 2020, and an additional $112 billion in 2021, reaching the peak of $320 billion at one point.

In January 2023, he became a Guinness World Record holder for the largest loss of personal fortune in history—he lost an estimated $182 billion since November 2021.

Elon Musk: Net Worth, Age, and Other Key Facts

Let’s take a closer look at what the most famous billionaire makes in a year.

Elon Musk’s Profile:

Full name Elon Reeve Musk
Date of birth June 28, 1971 
Occupation Investor; CEO of: Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, and others
Net worth  $146.5 billion
Yearly income (average) $14.39 billion
Income in 2021 $112 billion
Highest recorded net worth $338 billion (May 11, 2021)
Place of birth Pretoria, South Africa
Residence Austin, Texas, USA
Education University of Pennsylvania (BA in Economics; BS in Physics)
Family Single; 10 children Parents: Errol and Maye Musk Siblings: Kimbal Musk, Tosca Musk

Elon Musk’s yearly income: how we calculated it 

We’ve decided to focus on averages. 

1. Elon Musk’s average income (2013–2023)

Elon Musk first became a billionaire in 2012—ending the year with $2.6 billion and gracing the pages of Forbes Billionaires list for the first time.

At the time of writing, his net worth’s $146.5 billion. We know it’s not rocket science—but he’s been making $14.39 billion a year on average.

2. How Elon Musk’s net worth changed in the Pandemic 

While the global COVID outbreak was disastrous for many of us, it was a blast for the filthy rich. Elon Musk raised his net worth by 1,000% in less than two years during the pandemic. 

He made $135 billion in 2020, and an additional $112 billion in 2021—reaching unprecedented $338 billion at one point. 

Visualizing Elon Musk and his net worth 

It might be hard to grasp how much money Elon Musk actually has (human brains are notoriously bad at big numbers). So let’s simplify: 

  • Elon Musk is so rich, his net worth is larger than the nominal GDP of 150+ countries—including Slovakia, Morocco, and Iceland. 
  • Elon Musk is wealthy enough to end homelessness in America, and still have 90% of his fortune intact.
  • Elon Musk could end world hunger for the next five years.
  • Elon Musk’s net worth is so high he could buy 1.3 million of the most expensive Teslas (2023 Model S costs around $143,000 now).
  • He could “buy” Harvard, Yale, and Stanford—the top three American colleges by endowments.
  • Musk is richer than any fictional billionaire—including Scrooge McDuck, Tony Stark, and Jay Gatsby.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old is Elon Musk?

Elon Musk is 51 years old. He’s basically a baby in billionaire years (only 10% of all billionaires are under 50). Musk’s also the youngest of the top ten richest people in the world. 

Was Elon Musk born rich?

Yes, although it’s not clear exactly how rich. He was born into a well-to-do South African family. His father—Errol Musk—reportedly owned an emerald mine in Zambia. Musk senior once said about their finances, “We were very wealthy. We had so much money at times we couldn't even close our safe”.

Elon Musk now denies his estranged father’s account of events—though he did mention in 2014 that the Musks used to own an emerald mine (and even had their own private plane).

How did Elon Musk make his money?

Like we said, he wasn’t exactly born poor. But that’s not the whole story. Elon Musk has had a pretty straightforward strategy of money-making. As well as being wise with his money, he primarily made his fortune by becoming an early investor in companies like Tesla.

What companies does Elon Musk own?

After buying Twitter in October 2022, Elon Musk currently owns five companies:

  1. Tesla—the largest manufacturer of electric cars in the world.
  2. SpaceX—a spacecraft manufacturer that became the first private company to send humans into space.
  3. Twitter—a social media network, and the newest $44 billion addition to Elon’s portfolio.
  4. The Boring Company—an infrastructure company that focuses on high-speed tunnels and city transit.
  5. Neuralink—a neurotech company developing brain microchips that would turn us all into cyborgs (maybe).
How did Elon Musk get so rich during the pandemic?

Elon Musk grew his fortune tenfold during COVID-19. But he wasn’t the only one—tycoons thrived in the pandemic. The Federal Reserve pumped trillions of dollars into the stock market—making stocks soar for months.

No prizes for guessing who reaped the most benefits. Elon Musk’s assets ballooned thanks to the meteoric rise of Tesla’s stock (the company reached a $1 trillion market cap in 2021). But life is like a swing, and so is economics—the higher you rise, the harder you fall.

The world’s billionaires collectively lost over $1.4 trillion in 2022—and Elon Musk was the biggest loser among them. 

How much money did Elon Musk make in 2022?

That’s the neat part—he didn’t make any. Elon Musk lost money in 2022.  He started the year with around $270 billion, and ended it with $146.5 billion—which means he lost about $123.5 billion in 2022. Looks like his lucky star might have burned out.


See all

Age distribution of billionaires globally 2021 | Statista. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/621046/age-distribution-of-billionaires-globally/

Billionaire Wealth Losses in 2022 Hit $1.4 Trillion Led by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos—Bloomberg. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-12-29/billionaire-wealth-losses-in-2022-hit-1-4-trillion-led-by-elon-musk-jeff-bezos

Covid-19: A new billionaire has been minted nearly every day during the pandemic | CNN Business. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/22/economy/billionaires-poverty-oxfam-davos/index.html

Elon Musk suffers worst loss of fortune in history amid “market madness” | Guinness World Records. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2023/1/elon-musk-suffers-worst-loss-of-fortune-in-history-amid-market-madness-731988

Elon Musk Tells Me His Secret Of Success (Hint: It Ain’t About The Money) - Forbes. (2014, August 2). https://web.archive.org/web/20140802011449/http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimclash/2014/07/28/elon-musk-tells-me-his-secret-of-success-hint-it-aint-about-the-money/

Elon Musk’s Dad Tells BI About the Family’s Casual Attitude to Wealth. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musks-dad-tells-bi-about-the-familys-casual-attitude-to-wealth-2018-2?IR=T

Elon Musk’s family once owned an emerald mine in Zambia—Here’s the fascinating story of how they came to own it | News24. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.news24.com/news24/bi-archive/how-elon-musks-family-came-to-own-an-emerald-mine-2018-2

Estimating Large Numbers—Landy—2013—Cognitive Science—Wiley Online Library. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cogs.12028

How much money would it take to end world hunger? | Oxfam. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/how-much-money-would-it-take-to-end-world-hunger/

Ten richest men double their fortunes in pandemic while incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall | Oxfam International. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/ten-richest-men-double-their-fortunes-pandemic-while-incomes-99-percent-humanity

Tesla is now worth more than $1 trillion | CNN Business. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/25/investing/tesla-stock-trillion-dollar-market-cap/index.html

The 2013 Forbes Fictional 15. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/2013/07/31/the-2013-forbes-fictional-15/

The Fed helped fuel stock market boom—But deepened income inequality—The Washington Post. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/04/26/federal-reserve-interest-rates-inequality/

Editorial team

Meet the team
Jane Tumar - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Storyteller by day, data enthusiast when I have free time, meticulous researcher—always. I’ve been working as a content writer for the past 3 years. With my degree in Computer Science and Literature, I am a breathing and walking juxtaposition. I love metaphors, SQL, and round brackets (duh!).

Kacper Kozicki - Editor


Editor, copywriter, and multilingual translator with expertise in producing tailored content for global online brands. When not editing articles for LifeAndMyFinances.com, he enjoys rummaging through paper dictionaries, walking in nature, and making travel plans.

Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert

Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Content writing and marketing professional with 4+ years of experience in the B2B and B2C sectors. Deepti has written about several subjects, including finance, project management, human resources, and more.

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