The average age of forbes covers
Whilst the average age across all ten years tends to be between 40 and 50, there is a 20-year age gap between 2013 and 2022. The average age of people on the cover in 2013 was 59. This dropped to 41 in 2022.
During the timeframe studied, Malala Yousafzai, an education activist and the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was the youngest person to be featured at just 17 years old. the oldest person on the cover was Warren Buffet, the most successful investor of the 20th century, who was featured on the cover at 87 years old.
The most common industries
There are a range of industries on the cover of Forbes, with the most common being Tech (13%), Entertainer (8%), Fintech (8%) and Social Media (8%). Forbes has always been ahead of industry trends for example,2013 - 2015 were the glory years of social media, with Tumblr, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tinder, and Slack all featuring on covers during this timeframe.
In more recent years, the industries on the cover have shifted to show industries which have boomed, such as crypto and gaming. The Aug-Sept 2022 cover featured Berner, an entrepreneur/musician who found success with a cannabis-related business. By comparison, 2013 saw more traditional industries such as Oil and Mining, showing the Face of Forbes has evolved with the most profitable industries.
The gender gap
Age is one element of the Face of Forbes which has had very little change over the last 10 years, with just 17% of people on the covers identifying as female. On average are less than three issues a year with women on the cover.
Issues from the last four years are more likely to have only one woman. Previously women were mostly shown together, with 60% of issues with women on the cover showing multiple women. This is compared to 19% of men sharing the cover.
2016 had the largest female representation, with six women on the covers that year, however, only Kim Kardashian managed to receive her own cover in July 2016. April 2018’s version of Forbes magazine had 13 female entrepreneurs, the largest group of people to share the cover in the decade we analysed.