Forbes’ 31st Annual World’s Billionaires Issue

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A record 2,043 billionaires made Forbes’ 31st annual ranking of the world’s billionaires, as featured in the March 28, 2017 issue of Forbes magazine. To view the list, visit www.forbes.com/billionaires.

“Booming stock markets, higher commodities prices and plain old-fashioned entrepreneurship helped make this a record year in terms of wealth creation around the globe,” said Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan, Assistant Managing Editors of Wealth at Forbes Media.

Bill Gates remains in the top spot for the fourth year in a row and has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years. Gates has a fortune of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year. Warren Buffett, worth $75.6 billion, up from $60.8 billion in 2016, reclaimed the No. 2 slot, after a two-year hiatus. The biggest gainer on the 2017 list is Jeff Bezos (No. 3), whose fortune increased by $27.6 billion for a total net worth of $72.8 billion. This is Bezos’ first time in the top three. Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain) drops to No. 4, despite his net worth increasing to $71.3 billion. Rounding out the top five is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, worth $56 billion.

  • 2,043 billionaires (up from 1,810 in 2016) made the list, with an average net worth of $3.75 billion.
  • The change in the total number of billionaires – up 233 since last year – was the biggest increase in 31 years.
  • The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires was $7.67 trillion, up from $6.48 trillion last year.
  • 1,371 members were self-made billionaires. 238 inherited their wealth; another 434 inherited at least a portion but are still growing it.

How Much is President Trump Worth Now?

Forbes also released today a detailed analysis of how much President Trump is currently worth. He ranks No. 544 on the list, worth $3.5 billion. Midtown Manhattan real estate is down; therefore, so is Donald Trump’s fortune. In October 2016, at the time of the release of the 2016 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, Forbes valued Trump’s net worth at $3.7 billion.

In the feature package “In Trump They Trust,” Forbes provides an exclusive look into the global web of partners who are cashing in on the 45th president. A previously little-known batch of billionaires and multimillionaires from around the world suddenly find themselves in an unprecedented position: How do you cash in on a partnership with the President of the United States?

  • The Trump CloneHary Tanoesoedibjo (on the cover) shares more than luxury resorts with Donald Trump. The Indonesian billionaire is laying the groundwork to become president of the world’s fourth-largest country.
  • The Strongman’s Middleman – Robbie and Jose Antonio are about to open a Trump Tower in Manila. Jose is also the Philippines’ new trade envoy to America… Coincidence?
  • The Donald of the Desert – Master marketer Hussain Sajwani is betting he can still sell Trump in Dubai.
  • The President’s Gambling Buddy – Donald Trump famously failed in Atlantic City, but he’s scored big in Vegas, courtesy of his partner, billionaire Phil Ruffin – who is taking steps to open a new Trump casino there.
  • Locked In – Trump’s newest building in left-leaning Vancouver, has been profitable for its Malaysian partners from the get-go. But they may already regret doing the deal.
  • Salesmen of the Subcontinent – Indian luxury real estate is stalled, but Trump’s partners are cashing in.. slowly.

Key Highlights from Forbes’ 2017 World’s Billionaires list:

Women

  • The total number of women on the list is 227, up from 202 in 2016. A record 56 of those women are self-made billionaires; an all-time high of 25% of the world’s women billionaires are self-made, compared to 21% in 2016.
  • The richest self-made woman is Hong Kong’s Zhou Qunfei, whose Lens Technology went public in 2015. The U.S. boasts the most women billionaires on the 2017 list, with 74, followed by Germany with 28 and China with 23 (10 more than a year ago). These numbers include 5 women in the U.S. who have built companies with their husbands (with whom they are listed), and 1 woman in Germany who shares an inherited fortune with her brother-in-law.

Newcomers/Drop-Offs

  • This year 195 billionaires were new to the list, down from the 198 newcomers in 2016.
  • China had the most newcomers, adding 76 to the list. 25 newcomers were from the U.S., 13 from India and 5 from Germany.
  • Notable newcomers included Vietnam's first self-made woman billionaire, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, who took her budget airline, VietJet Air, public in February 2017. Also new to the list is Japan’s first self-made woman billionaire, Yoshiko Shinohara, who started a part-time staffing firm from her one-bedroom Tokyo apartment to help women get into the workforce. She debuts thanks to a 50% surge in the stock price of her company, Temp Holdings, in the past year.
  • Other notable newcomers to the list include: Australian Manny Stul, whose toy company created the popular Shopkins collectibles; American Yvon Chouinard, the founder of outdoor gear maker Patagonia; and Juan Francisco Beckmann Vidal of Mexico, who is chairman of tequila maker Jose Cuervo.
  • 56 billionaires are under 40 this year, down from 66 in 2016.
  • Altogether, 78 people dropped out of the rankings, a significant decrease from 2016’s 221 drop-offs.

By Country

  • Regionally, Asia-Pacific boasted the most billionaires, with 720 billionaires, followed by the United States with 565 and Europe with 530.
  • By country, the U.S. led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 565, followed by mainland China with 319, Germany with 114, India with 101 and Russia with 96. California alone has 140 billionaires, more than any country besides the U.S. and China.
  • The United Kingdom has 54 billionaires, versus 50 in 2016; this year there are 5 U.K. newcomers, including Philip Day, 51-year-old fashion mogul who runs Edinburgh Woolen Mill.
  • There are billionaires from 71 countries and territories this year, compared to 67 last year. Returning to the list are Kuwait, St. Kitts & Nevis and Macau.
  • Wealth is stretching to new corners of the world, with one new country, Slovakia, represented on the list.

Top 20

The Top 20 billionaires have a combined net worth of $938.4 billion, up from $826.5 billion in 2016.

RANK     NAME    

NET WORTH
($bil)

   

UP/DOWN
FROM 2016

   

COUNTRY (by
citizenship)

    ORIGIN OF WEALTH
1     Bill Gates     $86     Up     United States     Microsoft
2     Warren Buffett     75.6     Up     United States     Berkshire Hathaway
3     Jeff Bezos     72.8     Up     United States     Amazon.com
4     Amancio Ortega     71.3     Up     Spain     Zara
5     Mark Zuckerberg     56     Up     United States     Facebook
6     Carlos Slim Helu & family     54.5     Up     Mexico     telecom
7     Larry Ellison     52.2     Up     United States     software
8     Charles Koch     48.3     Up     United States     diversified
8     David Koch     48.3     Up     United States     diversified
10     Michael Bloomberg     47.5     Up     United States     Bloomberg LP
11     Bernard Arnault & family     41.5     Up     France     LVMH
12     Larry Page     40.7     Up     United States     Google
13     Sergey Brin     39.8     Up     United States     Google
14     Liliane Bettencourt & family     39.5     Up     France     L'Oreal
15     S. Robson Walton     34.1     Up     United States     Wal-Mart
16     Jim Walton     34     Up     United States     Wal-Mart
17     Alice Walton     33.8     Up     United States     Wal-Mart
18     Wang Jianlin     31.3     Up     China     real estate
19     Li Ka-shing     31.2     Up     Hong Kong     diversified
20     Sheldon Adelson     30.4     Up     United States     casinos
 

Methodology

Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth taken on February 17, 2017, when stock prices and exchange rates were locked in from around the world. The list features individuals rather than multigenerational families who share large fortunes. In some cases, siblings and couples are listed together if the ownership breakdown among them isn’t clear; however, they still must be worth on average a minimum of $1 billion apiece to make the cut.

For the full list, videos and more, visit www.forbes.com/billionaires.

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Business Wire: 12:37 GMT Monday 20th March 2017

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