Bill Gates top Forbes 2016 billionaires list

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is still ranked the world’s richest person with an estimated net worth of $75 billion, $4.2 billion less than last year, according to Forbes magazine’s 2016 list of the world’s richest people.

Bill Gates is the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $75 billion, despite being $4.2 billion poorer than a year ago. He has been No. 1 one for 3 years in a row and topped the list 17 out of 22 years. Zara’s Amancio Ortega moves up to No. 2 for the first time, displacing Mexico’s Carlos Slim, who slips to No. 4.  Warren Buffett is holding steady at No. 3.

Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg had the best year of all billionaires. The 31-year-old added $11.2 billion to his fortune and moved up to No. 6 from 16. He and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos both make their first appearance in the top ten of Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest.

The combined wealth of the top 20 has fallen from $899bn last year to $827bn and the number of billionaires in the world has shrunk from a record 1,826 in 2015 to 1,810. It is the first time in seven years that the number of billionaires has decreased, and is the first drop in the wealth of the top 20 since 2012.

Behind these figures is a story of huge upheaval, as 221 people fell off the list, while 198 newcomers joined the ranks; another 29 people from 2015 died while 29 who’d previously fallen off climbed back on. Of those who were billionaires both years, 892 are poorer while 501 added to their fortunes.

The list continues to be dominated by men. Out of 1,810 billionaires, just 190 are women, down from 197 in 2015.

Both the female billionaires in the overall top 20 inherited their wealth: Liliane Bettencourt, the heir to the L’Oréal empire, and Alice Walton, daughter of the Walmart founder, Sam Walton.

The richest self-made woman in the world is Zhou Qunfei, who is ranked 205th and valued at $5.9bn. She made her fortune by founding the touchscreen maker Lens Technology, whose biggest customers are Apple and Samsung.

Top 20 billionaires

These are the top 20 billionaires according to Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest

1 Bill Gates $75 bil Down Microsoft U.S.
2 Amancio Ortega $67 bil Up Retail Spain
3 Warren Buffett $60.8 bil Down Berkshire Hathaway U.S.
4 Carlos Slim Helú & family $50 bil Down Telecom Mexico
5 Jeff Bezos $45.2 bil Up U.S.
6 Mark Zuckerberg $44.6 bil Up Facebook U.S.
7 Larry Ellison $43.6 bil Down Oracle U.S.
8 Michael Bloomberg $40 bil Up Bloomberg LP U.S.
9 Charles Koch $39.6 bil Down Diversified U.S.
9 David Koch $39.6 bil Down Diversified U.S.
11 Liliane Bettencourt $36.1 bil Down L’Oréal France
12 Larry Page $35.2 bil Up Google U.S.
13 Sergey Brin $34.4 bil Up Google U.S.
14 Bernard Arnault $34 bil Down LVMH France
15 Jim Walton $33.6 bil Down Wal-Mart U.S.
16 Alice Walton $32.3 bil Down Wal-Mart U.S.
17 S. Robson Walton $31.9 bil Down Wal-Mart U.S.
18 Wang Jianlin $28.7 bil Up Real Estate China
19 Jorge Paulo Lemann $27.8 bil Up Food & Beverage Brazil
20 Li Ka-shing $27.1 bil Down Diversified Hong Kong

World’s Youngest Billionaires 2016: 66 Under 40

A record 66 members of the 2016 Forbes Billionaires List are under the age of 40, more than triple the number four years ago and a seven-fold increase since 2010.

The world’s youngest billionaire is a Norwegian teenager, Alexandra Andresen, who spends most of her time riding horses. Alexandra, 19, and her sister Katharina, 20, a college student, both inherited big stakes in their family’s investment company.

Of the 36 who made their own way, more than three-quarters got rich in the tech sector, including 25 billionaires whose fortunes come from unicorn startups valued at more than $1 billion. Many of these companies, like Snapchat, Uber, Pinterest and Airbnb, didn’t even exist 10 years ago.

The youngest of these self-made tech mavens is 25-year-old Snapchat cofounder Evan Spiegel, who first appeared on the Billionaires List last year with a net worth of $1.5 billion.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International