How many people around the world have a net worth in 10 digits? Forbes magazine released yesterday its annual tally of billionaires around the world, 1,226 to be exact, and despite the financial turmoil witnessed last year, the tally is 1 percent higher than last year’s number.
The group’s total combined net worth grew by 2 percent to $4.6 trillion, almost the size of Russia and Germany’s GDP combined. The average worth of a listed billionaire is $3.7 billion.
Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim retained his status as the world’s richest person for the third year in a row, topping the list with a net worth of $69 billion.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took second spot with $61 billion while Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett ranked third with $44 billion.
This year’s list also includes 104 women, among them Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton, the world’s richest woman and overall eleventh ranked with $25.3 billion.
In China, the richest billionaire is 43 year-old Robin Li, chairman and founder of search engine Baidu, with $10.2 billion, or ranked 86th. Baidu currently dominates 78 percent of China’s search engine market, a market that Google has repeatedly failed to penetrate.
Li Ka-Shing, of Hong Kong, however remains the richest person in Asia, with an estimated wealth of $25.5 billion.
According to Forbes, the United States has the most number of billionaires, or 425 to be exact. Russia, who comes in second, trails with a mere 96 billionaires. China takes the third spot with 95 billionaires.
Interestingly, the Russian capital Moscow is home to 78 billionaires, more than any other city in the world.
The previous year also saw 441 people incurring losses that ranged from $100 million to $10.4 billion, with at least 81 people losing more than $1 billion.
Of the losers, India’s Lakshmi Mittal, owner of the world’s largest steel company, saw his net worth decline by $10.4 billion to $20.7 billion – the biggest loss recorded.