Forbes rich list: Bill Gates tops the pile, Warren Buffett gains, Trump slumps

Oliver Gill
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Bill Gates has topped Forbes' rich list for 18 out of the last 23 years (Source: Getty)

Bill Gates is the richest person in the world for the fourth year in a row with a fortune of $86bn (£68bn), according to Forbes' annual rich list.

The Microsoft co-founder, a noted philanthropist, grew his wealth by $11bn during 2016. He has been the richest person on the planet for 18 out of the last 23 years.

Warren Buffett made ground on Gates, growing his riches by $14.8bn, sitting in second place with $75.6bn.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos was 2016's best billionaire mover, adding $27.6bn to his fortune, rounding out the top three with $72.8bn. Zara backer Amancio Ortega fell two spots to fourth place with $71.3bn in the bank.

A slowdown in the US property market hit US President Donald Trump. He lost $1bn according to Forbes' analysis, with his meagre $3.5bn meaning he fell 220 places to 544th.

Read more: Bill Gates ignored opportunity to buy Liverpool

The number of billionaires grew by 13 per cent over the year, with the list passing the 2,000 barrier for the first time.

The top 10

Rank Person
1 Bill Gates (Microsoft co-founder): $86.0bn
2 Warren Buffett (US investor): $75.6bn
3 Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder): $72.8bn
4 Amancio Ortega (Inditex founder): $71.3bn
5 Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder): $56bn
6 Carlos Slim (Mexican magnate): $54.5bn
7 Larry Ellison (Oracle co-founder): $52.2bn
8 Charles Koch (US businessman): $48.3bn
9 David Koch (US businessman): $48.3bn
10 Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg founder): $47.5bn

There were only three people in the top 30 under the age of 50. Google duo Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both aged 43, were in 12th and 13th places respectively, while Facebook's 32-year-old founder Mark Zuckerberg took fifth place.

Some 227 women are on the list, including 10 who share their fortune with a spouse or brother, with whom they either co-founded or own businesses.

Read more: Meet Aaron Simpson, the man building the world's biggest superyacht

There are 15 new self-made women, all but one of whom are from Asia Pacific. 10 are from China.

The sole American self-made woman newcomer was Thai Lee, who moved to the US as a child having been born in Thailand and runs tech reseller SHI, reportedly the nation’s largest woman-owned business by sales.

The US has more billionaires than any other nation and more than ever before with a total of 565, up from 540 a year ago. China is in second place with 319 and Germany in third place with 114, followed by India with 101.

Some 78 people were no longer on the list, 33 of whom were from China. Furthermore, 20 billionaires died during the year including Enterprise car rental founder Jack Taylor.

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