The total number of billionaires in the world fell 30 percent in the past year to 793 people, according to Forbes.

There were 1,125 billionaires at the same time last year. There were 355 whose fortunes declined in value while 18 died. There were 38 newcomers and three who returned after previously dropping off the list.

It is the first time since 2003 that the total number of billionaires has declined.

Billionaires don't have to worry about their next meal, but if their wealth is declining and you're not creating numerous new billionaires, it means the rest of the world is not doing very well ... The typical billionaire is down at least one third on their net worth, Steve Forbes, chief executive of Forbes magazine told reporters on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The report states that the average net worth of all billionaires fell 23 percent to $3 billion.

The top three billionaires were: Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with $40 billion, Investor Warren Buffett with $37 billion, and telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu with $35 billion.