Who Are the Richest People In the World?
There are a total of 1,810 billionaires in the world. That is 26 fewer billionaires than 2015. Bill Gates tops the list with a net worth of $75 billion.¬† He retained the top spot on the list for the third year in a row. Amancio Ortega ($67 Billion), who made his fortune in Spanish retailing and textiles, holds the number two spot.
New to the top 25 list in 2016 was Chinese Billionaire Wang Jianlin. A former communist and soldier, Jainlin‚Äôs company is the world‚Äôs largest theater owner and holds over 21.57 million square meters of investment property in China.¬† Jianlin has been aggressively building his business with a series of high impact deals.¬† In 2016 he purchased a 20 percent stake in Spanish soccer team Atletico Madrid, as well as the Ironman Triathlon racing brand for $650 million plus debt.¬† Wang has also recently acquired Legendary Entertainment, the Hollywood studio behind blockbuster hits like ‚ÄúJurassic World‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Dark Knight.‚ÄĚ
The biggest winners in the top 25 were tech magnates Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos. Zuckerberg‚Äôs wealth increased by $11.2 billion and Bezos net worth climbed by $10.4 billion, landing them at numbers five and six in the billionaires list.
Top 25 Billionaires in 2016
#1¬†¬† ¬†Bill Gates $75 Billion (down from $79.2 Billion)
#2¬†¬† ¬†Amancio Ortega $67 Billion (up from $64.5 Billion)
#3¬†¬† ¬†Warren Buffett $60.8 Billion (down from $72.7 Billion)
#4¬†¬† ¬†Carlos Slim Helu $50 Billion¬†¬† ¬†(down from $77.1 Billion)
#5¬†¬† ¬†Jeff Bezos $45.2 Billion (up from $34.8 Billion)
#6¬†¬† ¬†Mark Zuckerberg $44.6 Billion (down from $33.4 Billion)
#7¬†¬† ¬†Larry Ellison $43.6 Billion (down from $54.3 Billion)
#8¬†¬† ¬†Michael Bloomberg $40 Billion (up from $35.5 Billion)
#9¬†¬† ¬†Charles Koch $39.6 Billion (down from $42.9 Billion)
#10¬†¬† ¬†David Koch $39.6 Billion (down from $42.9 Billion)
#11¬†¬† ¬†Liliane Bettencourt $36.1 Billion (down from $40.1 Billion)
#12¬†¬† ¬†Larry Page $35.2 Billion (up from $29.7 Billion)
#13¬†¬† ¬†Sergey Brin $34.4 Billion (up from $29.2 Billion)
#14¬†¬† ¬†Bernard Arnault $34 Billion (down from $37.2 Billion)
#15¬†¬† ¬†Jim Walton $33.6 Billion (down from $40.6 Billion)
#16¬†¬† ¬†Alice Walton $32.3 Billion (down from $39.4 Billion)
#17¬†¬† ¬†S. Robson Walton $31.9 Billion (down from $39.1 Billion)
#18¬†¬† ¬†Wang Jianlin $28.7 Billion (down from $30 Billion)
#19¬†¬† ¬†Jorge Paulo Lemann $27.8 Billion (up from $26.3 Billion)
#20¬†¬† ¬†Li Ka-shing $27.1 Billion (down from $33.3 Billion)
#21¬†¬† ¬†Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr. $25.9 Billion (up from $19 Billion)
#22¬†¬† ¬†Sheldon Adelson $25.2 Billion (down from $31.4 Billion
#23¬†¬† ¬†George Soros $24.9 Billion (up from $24.5 Billion)
#24¬†¬† ¬†Phil Knight $24.4 Billion (down from $28 Billion)
#25¬†¬† ¬†David Thomson $23.8 Billion (down from $25.5 Billion)
Economic Volatility Impacts Billionaire Net Worth
2016 was a tough year for many of the 25 richest.¬† Volatile stock markets, cratering oil prices and a stronger dollar led to a dynamic reshuffling of wealth around the globe.¬† It was also the first time since 2010 that the average net worth of a billionaire dropped.¬† On average, the members of the top 25 list lost about $2.1 Billion between 2015 and 2016.
Mexican magnate Carlos Slim saw the biggest drop in his wealth ‚Äď a staggering loss of¬† $27 billion. The drop in Slim‚Äôs net worth is largely¬†due to the weak performance of Am√©rica M√≥vil, the telecommunications firm controlled by Slim and his family.¬† In addition, Slim‚Äôs wealth has been impacted by antitrust rules aimed at cracking down on dominant telecom companies in Mexico.
Billionaire Net Worth is Concentrated in Families and Industries
What is additionally notable about the list of 25 top billionaires is how many are parts of families. For example, three of the Walton clan ‚Äď Jim Walton, Alice Walton and S. Robson Walton rank 15th, 16th and 17th respectively. Beate Heister and & Karl Albrecht (owners of retailer Aldi) are also related and collectively rank at #21.
Echoing contemporary debates about wealth concentration, the amount of wealth held by the top 25 billionaires in 2016 tallied in at a total of $950.7 Billion.¬† This comfortably exceeds the Gross Domestic Output of a small developed nation such as the Netherlands.¬† The major industries driving the wealth of the top 25 billionaires were: technology, textiles, conglomerates, telecommunications, retail, media, publishing, luxury goods, real estate, brewing, entertainment and investing.
Photo: Flickr: Alan Dean
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