Billionaire philanthropist and IT mogul Bill Gates retained his spot as the world’s richest man, a rank he has held for 16 of the past 21 years, Forbes magazine said earlier today.
The Microsoft co-founder’s fortune increased $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion, the business magazine said, despite a $1.5 billion gift of Microsoft shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November.
Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim held onto second place thanks to his $77.1 billion, ahead of American investor Warren Buffett, with $72.7 billion.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg jumped five spots to land in number 16, the first time he made it within the exclusive circle of the world´s 20 richest people.
Jack Ma, whose Alibaba online marketplace made the biggest global IPO ever last year, was ranked among the world´s 50 richest people, along with two other Chinese nationals.
The number of billionaires is growing steadily, breaking an all-time record this year, with 1,826 — up from 1,645 last year.
This growing disparity in wealth is alarming for the world as a whole since the vast amount of wealth is increasing being concentrated in a few hands only even as the extremely rich get richer while the poor are becoming more poor.