Forbes Releases 31st Billionaires Issue

NEW YORK – A record 2,043 billionaires made Forbes magazine’s 31st annual ranking of the world’s billionaires.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, leads the list with $86 billion and President Donald Trump has a net worth of $3.5 billion according to the March 28, 2017 issue of Forbes magazine.

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“Booming stock markets, higher commodities prices and plain old-fashioned entrepreneurship helped make this a record year in terms of wealth creation around the globe,” said Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan, Assistant Managing Editors of Wealth at Forbes Media.

Bill Gates remains in the top spot for the fourth year in a row and has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years. Gates has a fortune of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year. Warren Buffett, worth $75.6 billion, up from $60.8 billion in 2016, reclaimed the No. 2 slot, after a two-year hiatus. The biggest gainer on the 2017 list is Jeff Bezos (No. 3), whose fortune increased by $27.6 billion for a total net worth of $72.8 billion. This is Bezos’ first time in the top three. Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain) drops to No. 4, despite his net worth increasing to $71.3 billion. Rounding out the top five is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, worth $56 billion.

  • 2,043 billionaires (up from 1,810 in 2016) made the list, with an average net worth of $3.75 billion.
  • The change in the total number of billionaires – up 233 since last year – was the biggest increase in 31 years.
  • The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires was $7.67 trillion, up from $6.48 trillion last year.
  • 1,371 members were self-made billionaires. 238 inherited their wealth; another 434 inherited at least a portion but are still growing it.

Forbes also released a detailed analysis of how much President Trump is currently worth. He ranks No. 544 on the list, worth $3.5 billion. Midtown Manhattan real estate is down; therefore, so is Donald Trump’s fortune. In October 2016, at the time of the release of the 2016 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, Forbes valued Trump’s net worth at $3.7 billion.


  • This year 195 billionaires were new to the list, down from the 198 newcomers in 2016.
  • China had the most newcomers, adding 76 to the list. 25 newcomers were from the U.S., 13 from India and 5 from Germany.
  • Notable newcomers included Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, who took her budget airline, VietJet Air, public in February 2017. Also new to the list is Japan’s first self-made woman billionaire, Yoshiko Shinohara, who started a part-time staffing firm from her one-bedroom Tokyo apartment to help women get into the workforce. She debuts thanks to a 50% surge in the stock price of her company, Temp Holdings, in the past year.
  • Other notable newcomers to the list include: Australian Manny Stul, whose toy company created the popular Shopkins collectibles; American Yvon Chouinard, the founder of outdoor gear maker Patagonia; and Juan Francisco Beckmann Vidal of Mexico, who is chairman of tequila maker Jose Cuervo.
  • 56 billionaires are under 40 this year, down from 66 in 2016.
  • Altogether, 78 people dropped out of the rankings, a significant decrease from 2016’s 221 drop-offs.

Billionaires by country:

  • Regionally, Asia-Pacific boasted the most billionaires, with 720 billionaires, followed by the United States with 565 and Europe with 530.
  • By country, the U.S. led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 565, followed by mainland China with 319, Germany with 114, India with 101 and Russia with 96. California alone has 140 billionaires, more than any country besides the U.S. and China.
  • The United Kingdom has 54 billionaires, versus 50 in 2016; this year there are 5 U.K. newcomers, including Philip Day, 51-year-old fashion mogul who runs Edinburgh Woolen Mill.
  • There are billionaires from 71 countries and territories this year, compared to 67 last year. Returning to the list are Kuwait, St. Kitts & Nevis and Macau.
  • Wealth is stretching to new corners of the world, with one new country, Slovakia, represented on the list.

Top 20

The Top 20 billionaires have a combined net worth of $938.4 billion, up from $826.5 billion in 2016.




FROM 2016

COUNTRY (by citizenship) ORIGIN OF WEALTH 
1 Bill Gates $86 Up United States Microsoft
2 Warren Buffett 75.6 Up United States Berkshire Hathaway
3 Jeff Bezos 72.8 Up United States
4 Amancio Ortega 71.3 Up Spain Zara
5 Mark Zuckerberg 56 Up United States Facebook
6 Carlos Slim Helu & family 54.5 Up Mexico telecom
7 Larry Ellison 52.2 Up United States software
8 Charles Koch 48.3 Up United States diversified
8 David Koch 48.3 Up United States diversified
10 Michael Bloomberg 47.5 Up United States Bloomberg LP
11 Bernard Arnault & family 41.5 Up France LVMH
12 Larry Page 40.7 Up United States Google
13 Sergey Brin 39.8 Up United States Google
14 Liliane Bettencourt & family 39.5 Up France L’Oreal
15 S. Robson Walton 34.1 Up United States Wal-Mart
16 Jim Walton 34 Up United States Wal-Mart
17 Alice Walton 33.8 Up United States Wal-Mart
18 Wang Jianlin 31.3 Up China real estate
19 Li Ka-shing 31.2 Up Hong Kong diversified
20 Sheldon Adelson 30.4 Up United States casinos