Billionaires defy the worldwide turmoil – and get even richer

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

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)

Telecoms

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee