Tags: Forbes | World | Billionaires | Rich

Forbes: The List of World Billionaires Is the Highest On Record

By    |   Tuesday, 20 January 2015 02:14 PM

The number of world billionaires is bigger than ever, and they can now be found in far-flung corners of the globe from Tanzania to Lithuania, but the U.S. still dominates the listings.

Forbes said its most-recent annual survey found a record 1,645 billionaires worth a combined total of $6.4 trillion, a significant jump from $5.4 trillion last year. The list now includes 172 women billionaires, the highest total ever.

The financial news publisher said its annual billionaires’ list “ranks individuals rather than large, multi-generational families who share large fortunes.”

“We do not include royal family members or dictators who derive their fortunes entirely as a result of their position of power, nor do we include royalty who, often with large families, control the riches in trust for their nation.”

Technology titans were prominent on the Forbes rich list. Of the newcomers to the list, 26 owed their fortunes to tech.

“Thanks to the tech boom, and strong stock market, the U.S. once again leads the world with 492 billionaires, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111,” Forbes reported.

On an individual basis, Bill Gates was back on top after his fortune rose by $9 billion. The Microsoft founder has occupied the top spot for 15 of the past 20 years.

Gates’ pal, famous stock picker Warren Buffett, came in second, telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico was third, Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega came in fourth, and Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison was fifth.

In a note that should encourage entrepreneurs, Forbes estimated about two-thirds of the billionaires created their own fortunes. Another13 percent inherited them and 21 percent got on the list by adding to fortunes they inherited or otherwise acquired.

Some prominent newcomers to the list included World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon, fashion guru Michael Kors, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg, WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Workday cofounder Aneel Bhusri and commodities owner Aliko Dangote of Nigeria.

“Still not all countries – or tycoons – had good years. Turkey lost 19 billionaires due to soaring inflation, a sagging stock market and a declining value in its currency. Indonesia, whose currency tumbled 20 percent against the dollar, now has eight fewer ten-figure fortunes.

Altogether 100 people dropped out of the ranks, while another 16 passed away,” said Forbes.

Forbes said its Top Ten consisted of:

  • Bill Gates, $80.4 billion, Microsoft founder, U.S.
  • Warren Buffett, $73 billion, Berkshire Hathaway chairman, U.S.
  • Carlos Slim Helu, $72.9 billion, telecom owner, Mexico.
  • Amancio Ortega, $61.1 billion, clothing retailer, Spain.
  • Larry Ellison, $54 billion, Oracle chairman, U.S.
  • Christy Walton & family, $41.7 billion, Wal-Mart, U.S.
  • Charles Koch, $41 billion, conglomerate owner, U.S.
  • David Koch, $41 billion, conglomerate owner, U.S.
  • Jim Walton, $40.8 billion Wal-Mart, U.S.
  • Alice Walton, $39.4 billion, Wal-Mart, U.S.

A new report from anti-poverty group Oxfam claims the world's richest 1 percent will soon hold wealth that surpasses more than the entirety of that owned by the rest of the people on earth.

The study estimated that by 2016, the disparity between the world's rich and poor will widen to the extent that those at the top of the money heap will control over 50 percent of total global wealth, up from 48 percent in 2014.

USA Today reported Oxfam's Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, who is co-chairing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, is expected to call at the conference for "urgent action" to address income inequality, beginning with a clampdown on tax dodging by corporations and rich individuals.

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The number of world billionaires is bigger than ever, and they can now be found in far-flung corners of the globe from Tanzania to Lithuania, but the U.S. still dominates the listings.
Forbes, World, Billionaires, Rich
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 02:14 PM
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