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Bill Gates Tops World’s Wealthiest People, Social Media and Apps Lead Youth Billionaire Movement

Carlos Slim Helu finished second on Forbes’ billionaires list; Warren Buffett is third

Forbes published its 29th annual list of the world’s richest people on Monday, and Bill Gates once again led the way — securing the top spot that the Microsoft founder has held for 16 of the past 21 years.

Gates is worth $79.2 billion, Forbes found. Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico was runner-up; Warren Buffett rounded out the top three, swapping spots with Spain’s Amancio Ortega, who finished fourth. Oracle’s Larry Ellison was No. 5. The Koch brothers claimed the next two spots.

Media tycoons making the cut include: Michael Bloomberg (14); Jeff Bezos (15); Anne Cox Chambers (53); Rupert Murdoch (77); Samuel Newhouse (142); Jim Kennedy (156).

The financial magazine reported that in 2014, Earth was home to 1,826 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion a year ago. That total number of billionaires includes 290 newcomers, 71 are from China.

New records include: 46 billionaires are under age 40; 197 women made the list.

All those upward trends stated, the average net worth of list members came in at $3.86 billion, down $60 million from 2014. Perhaps the rest of us should take up a collection.

Other notables on the list include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who came in at No. 16. The placement marks his first in the top 20.

Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel is the world’s youngest billionaire at 24 years old, tied with colleague Bobby Murphy. Uber co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp — and their first employee Ryan Graves — also made the list.

Three Airbnb members topped those guys.

Michael Jordan is new to the list at No. 1,741, thanks to his investment in the Charlotte Hornets.

Fashion designer Michael Kors was among the 138 previous occupants of the list who dropped off this year.

Read Forbes’ methodology here.

Here is the Top 20, who boast a combined net worth of $899 billion, up from $838.6 billion in 2014:


1 Bill Gates $79.2 bil Up Microsoft U.S.
2 Carlos Slim Helu & family $77.1 bil Up Telecom Mexico
3 Warren Buffett $72.7 bil Up Berkshire Hathaway U.S.
4 Amancio Ortega $64.5 bil Up Retail Spain
5 Larry Ellison $54.3 bil Up Oracle U.S.
6 Charles Koch $42.9 bil Up Diversified U.S.
6 David Koch $42.9 bil Up Diversified U.S.
8 Christy Walton & family $41.7 bil Up Wal-Mart U.S.
9 Jim Walton $40.6 bil Up Wal-Mart U.S.
10 Liliane Bettencourt $40.1 bil Up L’Oreal France
11 Alice Walton $39.4 bil Up Wal-Mart U.S.
12 S. Robson Walton $39.1 bil Up Wal-Mart U.S.
13 Bernard Arnault $37.2 bil Up LVMH France
14 Michael Bloomberg $35.5 bil Up Bloomberg LP U.S.
15 Jeff Bezos $34.8 bil Up Amazon.com U.S.
16 Mark Zuckerberg $33.4 bil Up Facebook U.S.
17 Li Ka-shing $33.3 bil Up Diversified Hong Kong
18 Sheldon Adelson $31.4 bil Down Casinos U.S.
19 Larry Page $29.7 bil Down Google U.S.
20 Sergey Brin $29.2 bil Down Google U.S.