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Bill Gates Snags Top Spot on Forbes Billionaire List

Microsoft founder Bill Gates nabbed the top spot as the world’s richest person, according to Forbes Magazine’s annual ranking of global billionaires per BBC News.

Gates’ total net worth was estimated at $76 billion this year, up from $67 billion the year before.

In total, there were a record breaking 1,646 billionaires, according to Forbes.

Bill Gates

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The income needed to make it into the top 20 ranking has now risen to $31 billion, up from $23 billion last year, Forbes said.

Bill Gates has found himself at the top of the list for 15 of the last 20 years, according to Forbes.

The enviable list mostly featured technology firms, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg becoming the biggest gainer in net worth, His fortune has more than doubled at $28.5 billion, boosted by a sharp increase in the price of the popular social network’s shares.

The social network’s chief operating officer also made the list for the first time ever, Sheryl Sandberg.

WhatsApp founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum found themselves on the list at number 551 and 202 respectively, thanks to Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of the messaging app.

The United States continues to dominate the list with the most billionaires, with 492 present on this year’s list. By region, Europe comes in second with the most billionaires outside of the United States, with 468 in total, closely followed by Asia, which had 444 billionaires.

The list also proves that wealth is finding its way into new places, with four new countries featured for the first time – Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania, and Uganda. Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, became the first African to make the top 25, with a net worth of $25 billion.

Behind Bill Gates, Carlos Slim took second place, Amancio Ortego took third place with his Zara fashion empire, Warren Buffet came in fourth, and Larry Ellison came in fifth thanks to Oracle.

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