Billionaires defy the worldwide turmoil – and get even richer
Forbes list reveals Mexico's Carlos Slim is still top of the table with a fortune of $69bn
The number of billionaires has hit a new, all-time high despite the global economic turmoil.
Forbes – the ultimate publication for the world's super-rich – has counted some 1,226 billionaires across the globe. To qualify, they have to be worth – let's spell it out – $1,000,000,000 (£635.5m) or more.
Between them, all those billionaires own a record $4.6trn of wealth between them, with the richest, Mexico's Carlos Slim, holding on to $69bn. Microsoft's Bill Gates closed in on the telecoms mogul. His pile rose $5bn while Slim's fell by the same amount.
However, British tycoons and heirs were notably absent from the top list.
The best we could muster was the Duke of Westminster who, at No 78, is rubbing by on just $11bn.
Earl Cadogan came next at $4.6bn followed by Sir Richard Branson and James Dyson, both on $4.2bn.
New names to watch included Sara Blakely, whose Spanx bodyshaping undies have earned her a $1bn fortune.
There are 104 women billionaires, most of whom have inherited their wealth, although Chinese property mogul Wu Yajun made her own fortune.
For both sexes, Americans, Indians, Chinese and Russians dominate the lists.
The world's richest man
Carlos Slim ($69bn)
He may be the world's richest man, but you would hardly know it from the looks of this Mexican billionaire. The 72-year-old shuns a lavish lifestyle, still driving himself around the chaotic streets of Mexico City – albeit with a convoy of security cars behind him. His one indulgence is his vast art collection, now on show in his museum in the capital. Slim made most of his money in the telecoms industry. The 72-year-old widower's empire now stretches from banking and insurance to mining and retail.
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to shoot himself
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete 'cheated on me' with Reeva Steenkamp, former girlfriend Samantha Taylor tells Pretoria court
Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...