Capitalism’s global conquest continues as entrepreneurs around the globe mint fortunes in everything from cryptocurrencies to telecom to bridal dresses. Forbes has pinned down a record 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories including the first ever from Hungary and Zimbabwe. This elite group is worth $9.1 trillion, up 18% since last year. Their average net worth is a record $4.1 billion. Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China with 373. Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos secures the list’s top spot for the first time, becoming the only person to appear in the Forbes ranks with a 12-figure fortune. Bezos’s fortune leapt more than $39 billion, the list’s biggest one-year gain ever. He moves ahead of Bill Gates, who is now number 2. It is the biggest gap between no. 1 and 2 since 2001. Bernard Arnault, with a fortune of $72 billion, reclaims the title of richest European for the first time since 2012. There are 259 newcomers including the first ever cryptocurrency billionaires; two Canadians whose toy company is behind Hatchimals and PAW Patrol; two Americans who founded online retailer Wayfair; and a 35-year-old heiress who runs In-N-Out Burger. Even in such a strong year, 121 dropped out due to falling fortunes or political headwinds, including all 10 Saudi Arabians. Click here for more on Forbes methodology, credits and acknowledgments.
Edited by Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan – See here THE 2018 LIST