Forbes Releases 35th Annual Listing of Richest Americans

NEW YORK – Forbes magazine has released its annual listing of the 400 Richest People in America and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remains No. 1 with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos coming in second.

The billionaires on Forbes’ 2016 ranking of the “The Forbes 400” (p. 128 of the October 25, 2016 Forbes magazine issue), have a record-breaking, combined total net worth of $2.4 trillion, up from $2.34 trillion in 2015. The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member hit $6 billion, also a record high, up from $5.8 billion last year. The minimum net worth needed to make this year’s list remains at $1.7 billion, unchanged from 2015.

Bill Gates retains the top spot on The Forbes 400 for the 23rd consecutive year, with a net worth of $81 billion this year. Despite a fortune of $65.5 billion and being up $3.5 billion from 2015, Warren Buffett (No. 3) surrenders the runner-up spot that he has held for 15 years to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (No. 2), worth $67 billion. Bezos is the biggest gainer on the list; his fortune is up $20 billion from 2015, attributable to Amazon shares surging 56%. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (No. 4), worth $55.5 billion, made it into the top 5 for the first time. Rounding out the top 5 is Larry Ellison (No. 5), worth $49.3 billion, up $1.8 billion from last year; Ellison drops from the number 3 rank for the first time since 2007.

Success of Immigrants

The theme of the 2016 Forbes 400 package is the success of immigrants and the thriving American dream. There are a record number of Forbes 400 list members born outside the U.S., and that’s a positive trend in terms of entrepreneurship and job growth. The number of immigrants on The Forbes 400 has more than doubled since 1986; this year 42 slots (including three married couples) on The Forbes 400 list are occupied by naturalized citizens who immigrated to America. That represents 10.5% of the list, a significant number, considering that naturalized citizens make up only 6% of the U.S. population. Forbes 400 members came from 21 different nations, led by Israel (6), India (5), Hungary (4) and Taiwan (4).

NY real estate mogul and Presidential candidate Donald Trump fell 35 spots to No. 156 this year. Trump is worth $3.7 billion, down $800 million from last year, largely due to a decrease in New York real estate prices and new information about his holdings. Forbes presents an asset-by-asset breakdown of his empire. Forbes has been tracking The Donald’s fortune since the debut of The Forbes 400 in 1982. His fortune is real, though by no means approaching the $10 billion that Trump continues to maintain he is worth.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is No. 6 on the list with a net worth of $45 billion, up $6.4 billion from last year according to Forbes estimates.

The Top 10 Richest Americans

Rank Name Wealth $ Change from 2015 Source of Wealth
1 Bill Gates $81 billion Up $5 billion Microsoft
2 Jeff Bezos $67 billion Up $20 billion Amazon.com
3 Warren Buffett $65.5 billion Up $3.5 billion Berkshire Hathaway
4 Mark Zuckerberg $55.5 billion Up $15.2 billion Facebook
5 Larry Ellison $49.3 billion Up $1.8 billion Oracle
6 Michael Bloomberg $45 billion Up $6.4 billion Bloomberg LP
7 Charles Koch $42 billion Up $1 billion diversified
7 David Koch $42 billion Up $1 billion diversified
9 Larry Page $38.5 billion Up $5.2 billion Google
10 Sergey Brin $37.5 billion Up $4.9 billion Google