There are more of them, amounts are higher, they come from a greater number of countries and if you want to join them in the top 20you will need a net worth of 31 billion dollars.
That is according to Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the global billionaires.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates is back on top.
His total net worth rose from $67 billion last year to $76 billion. He knocked Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim off top spot. He has been there for the past four consecutive years. Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega maintained third position.
According to Forbes the world’s largest economy, the US continues to dominate with the most billionaires – 492 in all.
The list suggests that wealth is spreading; four new countries featured for the first time Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda.
Rising stock markets, boosted by US and other central banks stimulus money, swelled the ranks of billionaires.
There were a record 1,645 of them with a total net worth of $6.4 trillion. That was up from 1,426 the previous year.
The list also included a record number of women. Just over 10 percent were female, with 172 women compared with 138 a year earlier.