Forbes gave an exclusive first look at its annual list of world’s most powerful people. From heads of state to entrepreneurs, 74 people were featured this year based on four factors: power over people, financial resources, power in multiple spheres and exercise of power.
The World’s Most Powerful People
5. Pope Francis
Pope Francis is the spiritual leader to nearly one-sixth of the world’s population, 1.3 billion people. He has made it his personal mission to transform the longstanding conservative image of the Catholic Church. In November 2016 he gave priests the power to forgive women who undergo abortions and has continued to push for climate change reform.
4. Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping is more powerful than ever after being elevated to a Communist Party “core” leader in 2016, an honor previously bestowed upon Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. After ascending to the presidency in 2012, Xi was quick to see the benefits of privatization-friendly reforms.
3. Angela Merkel
Once again, Merkel tops the list. As the de facto leader of the struggling European coalition, Merkel this year won a hard-fought election that saw the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party creep into the Bundestag. She’ll have to continue to hold tight to the EU rudder as she faces oncoming storms from Brexit.
2. Vladimir Putin
The world’s 2nd most powerful person for four years running, Russia’s president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe; from the motherland to Syria to the U.S. presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants.
1. Donald Trump
Donald Trump became the first billionaire president in U.S. history in January 2017.The core of his fortune is tied up in a half-dozen buildings in and around midtown Manhattan in New York City, where luxury real estate values have fallen recently.