The success of Uber, Snapchat and Facebook has made California home to the greatest number of billionaires on the planet after China and the US, according to 2015 Forbes Billionaire List.
The rich list shows that the state of California now has 131 individuals worth 10 figures, more than any country beside China and the US. Of the 1826 billionaires on the list, 290 were newcomers and a record 46 were under the age of 40.
Forbes said that the tech industry in Silicon Valley has spawned 23 new billionaires including Evan Spiegel, the 24-year-old founder of Snapchat. Uber kingpins Travis Kalanick, Garrett Camp and employee Ryan Graves count themselves among tech’s richest.
Elizabeth Holmes, director of the blood-testing firm Theranos, is the youngest self made woman on the list at 31. Entrepreneurs far outnumbered those who had inherited wealth – at 1191 with big ideas versus 230 with family money.
Forbes said that Russians featured heavily among the 138 people who have dropped out from the ranks altogether. That list also includes Michael Kors, the designer, and the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko.
Africa’s richest man is also the year’s biggest loser. Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian commodities magnate, saw his fortune drop $10.2 billion dollars because of the weaker Nigerian currency and shrinking demand for cement. He's not broke just yet. His fortune is still worth a whopping $14.7 billion.
And the world’s richest man? Bill Gates, whose fortune grew $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion. Gates has now held the title for 16 of the past 21 years.
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