Bill Gates regained his title as the world's richest man with a net worth of 40 billion USD in the newly released Forbes 2009 billionaires list. This is despite the fact that his wealth shrank 18 billion USD compared with the same period last year.
According to the Forbes statistics, there are 793 billionaires in 2009, with the number dropping 30 percent year-on-year, the first decline since 2003. The global economic crisis has resulted in the drastic drop in wealth of the world's richest people. The total wealth of these super rich was about 2.4 trillion USD this year, much lower than the 4.4 trillion USD recorded last year. Their average net worth was 3 billion USD, also lower than last year's 3.9 billion USD.
Warren Buffett who ranked at the top of the billionaires list last year fell to second place this year. His Berkshire Hathaway Inc lost 25 billion USD or one-third in the stock market. The Mexican telecom giant Carlos Slim Helú who ranked second last year, dropped to third on the list with a net worth of 35 billion USD.
The US is still the country with most magnates. Of the 793 richest people listed, 359 are from the US, 196 are from Europe, 130 are from the Asia-Pacific region, 58 are from the Middle East and Africa, and 50 are from Latin America.
By People's Daily Online