Gates tops billionaires list

Microsoft’s chief software architect is poorer this year but he’s still worth $46.5bn (£25.83bn).

Microsoft’s chief software architect is poorer this year but he is still worth $46.5bn (£25.83bn).

Bill Gates still heads the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires after seeing his fortune drop from the $46.6bn he had last year. This was the eleventh year in a row Gates has topped the list.

Investor Warren Buffet is second in the list with $44bn, and Indian steel mogul Lakshmi Mittal is third with $25bn.

Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu is fourth, and Microsoft's Paul Allen and Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison also make the top 10. Ellison was only number 12 last year.

Among the big movers this year were Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page. They made their first list appearance last year with $1bn each.

The pair however jumped nearly 500 spots this year to number 55, after their net worth jumped to $7.2bn after the company's initial public offering last August.

At 31 and 32 years of age, Brin and Page are two of only 29 billionaires under 40.

Forbes said the number of billionaires grew to a record 691 from the 587 last year, and their total net worth rose by $300bn to $2.2 trillion.

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