The total wealth of billionaires is now $6.4 trillion, according to Forbes magazine – a rise of a cool $1 trillion in the space of a year, with many fortunes buoyed by the rising equity markets.
There are now a record-breaking 1,645 dollar billionaires in the world according to Forbes, an increase of 268 on last year. The newcomers alone are worth $509bn.
In the past year 42 women have become billionaires – another record in the Forbes list’s 28-year history – taking the total to 172.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, earned the biggest sum in the world last year, an estimated $10bn as his social network’s stock surged, and is now worth $28.5bn.
An influx of new billionaires from Silicon Valley included Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg; Whatsapp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton; and Dropbox boss Drew Houston.
Forbes said there are 47 British-based billionaires, topped by property scion Gerald Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster.
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