Forbes, on Monday, released its 2014 list of the world’s richest people, with Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates reclaiming the top spot from Mexico's telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who topped the list for the past four years.
Gates, whose fortune rose by $9 billion in the past year to touch a total of $76 billion, is back on top after a four-year hiatus, while Helu placed second with a net worth of $72 billion, the Forbes report said, adding that rising stock markets helped swell the ranks of the world’s billionaires, which included a record number of women.
“Our global wealth team found 1,645 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion a year ago,” the Forbes report said. “We unearthed a record 268 new ten-figure fortunes, including 42 new women billionaires, another record. In total, there are 172 women on the list, more than ever before and up from 138 last year.”
While Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of clothing conglomerate Inditex SA, retained the third position for the second year in a row at $64 billion, investing icon Warren Buffett stood fourth at $58.2 billion.
Click on the slideshow to see who made it to the top 10.
According to Forbes, a record net worth of $31 billion was needed to make the top 20, which was up from $23 billion last year.
Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest gainer in 2013, with his fortune jumping $15.2 billion to $28.5 billion, as shares of his company soared. Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg and long-time vice president Jeff Rothschild also joined the ranks of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest for the first time. So did WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, thanks to their $19 billion deal with Facebook.
Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, ranked 17th and 19th, with a net worth of $32.3 billion and $31.8 billion respectively, while Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Jeff Bezos was ranked 18th at $32 billion.
Click here for the full list of the richest people on the planet.
Thanks to the tech boom, and a strong stock market, the U.S. had the most billionaires with 492, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111. There were 56 India-born billionaires in the list, including Mukesh Ambani (No. 40), chairman of Reliance Industries (BOM:500325), with a net worth of $18.6 billion; Lakshmi Mittal (No. 52), chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), with $16.7 billion; and Azim Premji (No. 61), chairman of Wipro (NYSE:WIT), with $15.3 billion.
Click here for the complete list of Indian billionaires.