New York, NY…A record 2,208 billionaires made Forbes’ 32nd annual ranking of the world’s billionaires, as featured in the March 31, 2018 issue of Forbes magazine.”The superrich continue to get richer, widening the gap between them and everyone else,” said Luisa Kroll and Kerry A. Dolan, Assistant Managing Editors of Wealth, at Forbes Media. Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos seizes the top spot for the first time. Bezos has a fortune of $112 billion, up $39.2 billion from 2017, the biggest one-year gain ever. Bill Gates, who has been the richest person in the world for 18 of the past 24 years, drops to No. 2 on the Forbes billionaires list. Gates has a fortune of $90 billion, up from $86 billion last year. This is the biggest gap (in dollars) between the top 2 spots since 2001. Warren Buffett, worth $84 billion, falls to the No. 3 spot. His net worth increased from $75.6 billion in 2017. Bernard Arnault, with a fortune of $72 billion, ascends 7 spots in the ranks to No. 4. Thanks to his $30.5 billion gain in the past year, Arnault is the richest person in Europe for the first time since 2012. Rounding out the top five is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, worth $71 billion. Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain) in at No. 6, drops out of the top 5 for the first time since 2011. Ortega’s net worth is $70 billion, a $1.3 billion decrease from 2017.
2,208 billionaires (up from 2,043 in 2017) made the list, with an average net worth of $4.1 billion, a record high.
The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires was $9.1 trillion, up from $7.7 trillion last year.
1,490 members are self-made billionaires, up from 1,371 in 2017.
The Top 20 billionaires have a combined net worth of a record $1.2 trillion, up from $968.8 billion in 2017. Their aggregate wealth represents 13% of all 2,208 billionaires. The minimum net worth to make the cut into the Top 20 is now a record $39 billion, up from $30.4 billion in 2017.
Forbes 2018 Top 20 Billionaires
Rank Name Final Worth
from 2017 Citizenship Origin of Wealth
1 Jeff Bezos $112 Up United States Amazon.com
2 Bill Gates 90 Up United States Microsoft
3 Warren Buffett 84 Up United States Berkshire Hathaway
4 Bernard Arnault & family 72 Up France LVMH
5 Mark Zuckerberg 71 Up United States Facebook
6 Amancio Ortega 70 Down Spain Zara
7 Carlos Slim Helu & family 67.1 Up Mexico telecom
8 Charles Koch 60 Up United States Koch Industries
8 David Koch 60 Up United States Koch Industries
10 Larry Ellison 58.5 Up United States software
11 Michael Bloomberg 50 Up United States Bloomberg LP
12 Larry Page 48.8 Up United States Google
13 Sergey Brin 47.5 Up United States Google
14 Jim Walton 46.4 Up United States Wal-Mart
15 S. Robson Walton 46.2 Up United States Wal-Mart
16 Alice Walton 46 Up United States Wal-Mart
17 Ma Huateng 45.3 Up China internet media
18 Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & family 42.2 New France L’Oréal
19 Mukesh Ambani 40.1 Up India petrochemicals, oil & gas
20 Jack Ma 39 Up China e-commerce
For the complete list, visit: www.forbes.com/billionaires.
President Trump, worth $3.1 billion, ranks No. 766, falling from No. 544 in 2017. Trump’s fortune has fallen $400 million since the 2017 Billionaires list, due partially fallings values of Midtown Manhattan real estate and declining revenues at several Trump golf properties. (Trump’s net worth remains the same as it did when Forbes valued him in October 2017, for the 2017 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans.)
ON THE COVER: Private Equity’s Engineer, Robert Smith, is featured in the Forbes cover story “How to Beat Wall Street and Silicon Valley Simultaneously.” The American Dream is alive and well on Wall Street thanks to Robert Smith, the richest black person in America, who has figured out a way to reengineer both private equity and enterprise software – and used this secret playbook to build a $4.4 billion fortune.
Key Highlights from Forbes’ 2018 World’s Billionaires list:
The total number of women on the list is 256, up from 227 in 2017. This includes 13 women who share their fortunes with their husband, brother, or son.
A record 72 of those women are self-made billionaires, an all-time high and significant increase from 56 women in 2017.
The richest self-made woman is Hong Kong’s Zhou Qunfei, whose Lens Technology company makes screens for smartphones. The company went public in 2015.
The U.S. boasts the most women billionaires on the 2018 list, with 82, followed by Germany with 33 and China with 30. These numbers include 5 women in the U.S. who have built companies with their husbands (with whom they are listed), and 1 woman in Germany who shares an inherited fortune with her brother.
This year 259 billionaires are new to the list, up from the 195 newcomers in 2017.
China has the most newcomers, with 89, followed by 45 newcomers from the U.S., 18 newcomers from India and 13 from Germany.
Notable newcomers include Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie, two Canadians whose toy company is behind Hatchimals and PAW Patrol; Canadian Tobi Lutke, who founded ecommerce platform Shopify; and the first ever cryptocurrency billionaires, Ripple cofounder Chris Larsen and Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ).
Other newcomers include Americans Lynsi Snyder, the In-N-Out Burger heir; and Niraj Shah and Steve Conine, cofounders of online home goods retailer Wayfair. Telecom mogul Strive Masiyiwa joins as Zimbabwe’s first-ever billionaire.
Altogether, 121 people dropped out of the rankings, an increase from 2017’s 78 drop-offs.
Notable drop-offs include Papa John’s pizza founder John Schnatter, Christoffel Wiese of South Africa, Indian jeweler Nirav Modi, and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.
Regionally, Asia-Pacific boasts the most billionaires, with 827, followed by the United States with 585 and Europe with 559.
By country, the U.S. leads with the greatest number of billionaires, with 585, followed by Greater China (including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) with 476, Germany with 123, India with 119 and Russia with 102. California alone has 144 billionaires, more than any country besides the U.S. and China.
The United Kingdom has 53 billionaires, versus 54 in 2017.
There are billionaires from 72 countries and territories this year, compared to 71 last year.
Wealth is stretching to new corners of the world, with two countries, Hungary and Zimbabwe, represented on the list for the first time.
The Forbes Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth taken on February 9, 2018; Forbes used that day’s stock prices and exchange rates from around the world. It lists individuals rather than multigenerational families who share large fortunes. In some cases siblings and couples are listed together if the ownership breakdown among them isn’t clear, however they still must be worth on average a minimum of $1 billion apiece to make the cut.
For the full list, videos and more, visit www.forbes.com/billionaires.