Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, has topped Forbes‘ list of the world’s most powerful people in 2018. Xi’s elevation to the world’s most powerful person unseats Russian President Vladimir Putin (#2), who held the top spot for an unprecedented four consecutive years. President Donald Trump falls to the No. 3 spot and the fourth most powerful person in the world also happens to be the most powerful woman: Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany.
There are 17 new names on the list this year, including Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud (#8), the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. His father remains king, but “MBS” has consolidated power beyond any doubt and taken control of the country. Other new members include Jerome H. Powell (#11), chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve; Darren Woods (#34), CEO of Exxon Mobil; Moon Jae-in (#54), President of South Korea; and Robert Mueller (#72), Special Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice.
There are nearly 7.5 billion humans on planet Earth, but these 75 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.
To compile the ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People, they considered hundreds of candidates from various walks of life all around the globe, and measured their power along four dimensions. First, they asked whether the candidate has power over lots of people. Next they assessed the financial resources controlled by each person. For heads of state they used GDP, while for CEOs, they looked at measures like their company’s assets and revenues. Then they determined if the candidate is powerful in multiple spheres because being powerful in just one area is often not enough. Lastly, they made sure 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.
For a full list of the world’s most powerful people click here.