The new Forbes 2017 Billionaires List suggests that the number of billionaires has risen from just 1,810 in 2016 to about 2,043 for the year 2017 – A whopping 13% increase in the number of billionaires in the world!
This year’s list comes off as astounding for several other reasons-
- This is the first time ever that Forbes has been able to list out more than 2000 individuals whose net worth is in billions.
- The total net worth of all billionaires put together rose to $7.67 trillion- an increase of about 18%- setting a record in Forbes’ Billionaire Lists.
- There have been 233 names included to the list for 2017, which is the biggest rise in the number of billionaires Forbes has seen for the last 31 years of tracking billionaires globally.
- Gainers since the 2016 list now outnumber the losers by more than 3-to-1.
The Forbes Billionaires List, which uses stock prices and exchange rates from around the world to calculate individual net worth, had its latest list released on February 17, 2017. It tracks and reflects changes that take place after adjustments in fluctuating stock prices and global exchange rates.
Coming off as no big surprise, Bill Gates continues to retain the #1 position, and for the fourth year now. He has featured on the billionaires’ list 18 times over the past 23 years. At #2 is the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, whose net worth jump of about $14.8 billion in just 12 months helped him grab #2 spot from Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara.
Ortega, whose fortunes have increased by $4.3 billion since last year, still fell to the fourth position, unable to keep up with the likes of Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos.
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has undoubtedly had the best year than any other person on this list. He managed to move to position #3 on this list (up from #5), adding $27.6 billion to his fortune. He is now worth $72.8 billion.
The 2017 list featured 195 newcomers, Mainland China leading in this regard with the most new ten-figure fortunes at 76. Of the 195 newcomers are a sizeable number of young self-made billionaires, such as John Collison, who co-founded online payment portal Stripe with Patrick Collison. The number of billionaires on this list who are under the age 40, is at 56. Last year, however, this number was at 66.
The list of newcomers also includes 15 self-made women, with a majority of them coming from Asia Pacific. The first ever woman billionaire from Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, whose budget airline VietJet Air has been creating waves, went public in February 2017. With the inclusion of these 15 new women on the list, there are now 227 women who feature on Forbes’ list of billionaires for 2017.
Of course, the United States continues to dominate this list overall, with the most number of billionaires coming from this nation. While in 2016 the number of American billionaires stood at 540, this year it is at 565. China seems to be catching up, however, with about 319 billionaires making their way into Forbes’ list. Germany, with 114, followed not so distantly by India, with 101, take up the third and fourth place respectively in this regard.
Despite 78 individuals’ names being taken off the list for the year 2017, this year has seen a 13% jump in the number of people who feature on the list overall. This can be put into better perspective by looking at the past three years. In 2016, there were 1,810 billionaires who featured on the list. In fact, 2016 fared badly when compared to 2015, where the total net worth of individuals on the 2016 list was down to $6.48 trillion, from 2015’s $7.05 trillion. When you look at these past statistics, 2017 has not only been a better performing year so far, but has truly been conducive for aspiring billionaires who finally made Forbes’ list.