For our 30th annual guide to the richest people on earth, we found a total of 1,810 billionaires, down from 1,826 a year ago. Their aggregate net worth: $6.5 trillion, $570 billion less than last year. Behind the topline figures is a story of huge upheaval, as 221 people fell off the list while 198 newcomers joined it. Blame cratering oil prices, volatile global stock markets and a stronger dollar. For much more, including ranks in net worth order, go to www.forbes.com/billionaires
The Forbes Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth taken on Feb 12, when we locked in stock prices and exchange rates from around the world. It lists individuals rather than multigenerational families who share large fortunes. We include wealth belonging to a billionaire’s spouse and children if that person is the founder of the fortune. In some cases we list siblings or couples together if the ownership breakdown among them isn’t clear, but here an estimated net worth of $1 billion per person is needed to make the cut. We value a variety of assets and stakes, including private companies, real estate, art, yachts and more. We don’t pretend to know each billionaire’s private balance sheet (though some provide it). In cases where documentation isn’t supplied, we discount fortunes. For complete profiles see www.forbes.com/billionaires.
(This story appears in the 01 April, 2016 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)