Carlos Slim Helú is the world’s richest person on Forbes’ 27th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires. With a net worth of $73 billion, up from $69 billion in 2012, the telecom magnate from Mexico tops the list for the fourth year in a row. Bill Gates retains the #2 spot with a net worth of $67 billion. Zara’s Amancio Ortega (#3) moves up two spots from 2012, with a net worth of $57 billion, ahead of Warren Buffett (#4) with a net worth of $53.5 billion. This marks the first year Buffett has not been in the top 3 since 2000, in spite of being the second biggest gainer this year, up $9.5 billion.
Rebounding equity markets and strong consumer brands drove a huge number of newcomers into the billionaire ranks. This year, 210 billionaires are new to the list, while 60 dropped off (still more died or split their fortunes with a family). A record 1,426 billionaires (up 200 from 1,226 in 2012) made the list, with an average net worth of $3.8 billion (up from $3.7 billion in 2012). Added together, the total net worth for this year’s billionaires is $5.4 trillion, up from $4.6 trillion last year. The US leads the list with 442 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific (386), Europe (366), The Americas (129) and the Middle East & Africa (103).
A total of 138 women are on the list this year, an increase of 34 from last year. With a net worth of $30 billion, Liliane Bettencourt (#9) is now the richest woman in the world. Other women on the list include Miuccia Prada (# 78) of Italy, Anne Cox Chambers (#80) of the US, and new to the list, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus (#198) of Switzerland, with net worths of $12.4 billion, $12 billion and $6 billion, respectively.