Forbes has published its annual billionaire’s list, listing the world’s wealthiest individuals – including seven South Africans.
In its 2015 list, Forbes counted 1,826 billionaires across the globe, worth a total of $7.05 trillion – up from $6.4 trillion in 2014.
The average wealth per billionaire sits at $3.86 billion.
Bill Gates has retained his position at the top of the list with a fortune of $79.2 billion.
In second place is Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, with a net worth of $77.1 billion. He had topped the list in 2013.
Warren Buffett moved up one slot this year with a net worth of $72.7 billion. In fourth place was Amancio Ortega, the Spanish co-founder of clothing retail chain Zara, with a net worth of $64.5 billion.
Rounding out the top five is Larry Ellison, founder of technology company Oracle Corp, with $54.3 billion.
Richest people in the world
|Rank#||Name||Net worth 2015|
|1||Bill Gates||$79.2 billion|
|2||Carlos Slim Helu||$77.1 billion|
|3||Warren Buffet||$72.7 billion|
|4||Amancio Ortega||$64.5 billion|
|5||Larry Ellison||$54.3 billion|
|6||Charles Koch||$42.9 billion|
|6||David Koch||$42.9 billion|
|8||Christy Walton||$41.7 billion|
|9||Jim Walton||$40.6 billion|
|10||Liliane Bettencourt||$40.1 billion|
The list saw 290 people join the rankings, with over 70 from China.
Most of the those on the list were men. But there were 197 women, up from 172 a year ago. The highest-ranking woman was Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, a son of the founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. She has a net worth of $41.7 billion, according to Forbes.
The world’s youngest billionaire is 24-year-old Evan Spiegel, the CEO and co-founder of mobile messaging company Snapchat, with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Snapchat’s other co-founder, 25-year-old Bobby Murphy, has the same net worth as Spiegel.
According to Forbes, the list excludes royal family members or dictators who derive their fortunes entirely as a result of their position of power, and royalty who control the riches in trust for their nation.
The richest South Africans
Looking at South Africa, Forbes listed seven South African billionaires worth a combined $28.6 billion, up from $25.4 billion in 2014.
However, with seven names listed, one South African, namely mining group Assore’s MD, Desmond Sacco, lost his billionaire status over the course of 12 months.
South African luxury goods tycoon, Johann Rupert remains the country’s richest man with a net worth of $7.4 billion.
Diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer sits firmly as the country’s second richest man at $6.7 billion, with Shoprite investor, Christo Wiese at third.
Wiese showed a massive growth in his fortunes from 2014, almost doubling his wealth over the past 12 months.
The South African trio sit far above former Naspers CEO and soon to be chairman, Koos Bekker, who’s fortune of $2.3 billion puts him a relatively distant fourth, ahead of Patrice Motsepe ($2.2 billion), Stephen Saad ($2.1 billion) and Allan Gray ($1.6 billion).
Richest people in South Africa
|Rank#||Name||Net Worth 2015||Net Worth 2014||Change|
|179||Johann Rupert||$7.4 billion||$7.6 billion||-2.6%|
|201||Nicky Oppenheimer||$6.7 billion||$6.7 billion||0.0%|
|225||Christo Wiese||$6.3 billion||$3.2 billion||97.0%|
|810||Koos Bekker||$2.3 billion||$1.3 billion||76.9%|
|847||Patrice Motsepe||$2.2 billion||$2.7 billion||-18.5%|
|894||Stephen Saad||$2.1 billion||$1.3 billion||61.5%|
|1226||Allan Gray||$1.6 billion||$1.3 billion||23.1%|
The Forbes list also includes a number of people born in Southern Africa, who have since moved abroad.
South African born Elon Musk is ranked 100th on the Forbes list, with a fortune of $12 billion. The 43 year old Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, who now carries US citizenship.
Ivan Glasenberg, the mining magnate who has Swiss citizenship, is 301st on the list, with a fortune of $5.1 billion.
Nathan Kirsh is 435th on the list. The 83 year old Swaziland native has a fortune of $3.9 billion, having acquired his wealth through retail and real estate.
Johannesburg born Clive Calder is ranked at 737, with a total wealth of $2.5 billion. Calder is a record executive and businessman primarily known for co-founding the Zomba Group with Ralph Simon and its subsidiary, Jive Records.
You can view the full ranking on Forbes.