World's Billionaire Population Falls for the First Time Since Great Recession
Forbes list of the world’s billionaires for 2016 reflects a global economic order that has been rocked in the last year by market turbulence and crashing oil prices, causing the number of billionaires on earth to fall for the first time since 2009.
The magazine’s 30th annual billionaires guide, released Tuesday, counts 1,810 billionaires in the world, down from a record high of 1,826 last year, with total aggregate wealth of roughly $6.5 trillion, or about $570 billion less than a year ago.
For the third year running Bill Gates retained his top spot as the richest human, with net worth of $75 billion, down $4.2 billion from last year. Spaniard Amancio Ortega, owner of the retail chain Zara, is the second wealthiest person on the list, and the richest person in Europe. Warren Buffett retained his number three spot on the list, while Carlos Slim, the Mexican owner of the telecom América Móvil, dropped to number four, as his wealth fell by almost a third, to $50 billion, as the share price of his company plummeted. Presidential candidate Donald Trump is listed at #324 overall and #114 in the U.S. with a net worth of $4.5 billion, less than half the $10 billion he claims to be worth.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had his personal best showing. His wealth grew by more than $11 billion, rocketing him into the top ten list for the first time ever. Amazon owner Jeff Bezo’s also makes his first appearance in the top ten this year.
The youngest billionaire in the world is Norwegian heiress Alexandra Andresen, 19, with $1.2 billion. The second youngest billionaire is her sister Katharina, 20. The third youngest billionaire Gustav Magner Witzoe, 22, is also Norwegian.
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The admirable ability of young Norwegians to skillfully inherit family fortunes notwithstanding, the United States is still home to more billionaires than any other country, 540. Mainland China comes in second with 251, not including the 69 billionaires in Hong Kong.