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There are now 2,089 billionaires in the world: This is who they are, where they live – and how they made their fortunes

Annual Hurun Global Rich List now gives all the world’s richest people a score for how ‘self-made’ they are

Adam Withnall
Thursday 05 February 2015 14:09 GMT

The number of billionaires in the world has surpassed 2000 for the first time, with at least 67 countries now home to at least one person valued at more than $1,000,000,000.

According to the 2015 Hurun Global Rich List, India has for the first time overtaken Britain and Russia in terms of the number of billionaires living in its borders.

Just 40 of the people on the list are under 40 years old. Among them, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has broken into the top 10 for the first time with an estimated wealth of $44 billion.

The list is produced annually by Hurun Report, a publishing empire founded by the Durham and Eton-educated Englishman Rupert Hoogewerf under his Chinese name Hurun.

Bill Gates, 59, is still the richest person in the world, according to Hurun. His $85 billion keeps the Microsoft founder above Mexico’s Carlos Slim on $83 billion and Warren Buffett, in third with $76 billion.

Larry Ellison has a vast collection of luxury homes, private jets, lavish cars and cup-winning sailboats

Of the 341 new entrants on to the list for 2015, just over a fifth were from China, home to 430 billionaires overall.

The US houses the most billionaires with 537, while New York is the single most popular city – home to more super-high wealth individuals than in the whole of the UK.

Top Ten – Hurun Global Rich List 2015

  Name WealthUS$bn Source of Wealth Age Country of residence Self-Made Scorecard
1 Bill Gates 85 Investments 59 USA 4
2 Carlos Slim Helu & family 83 America Movil 75 Mexico 5
3 Warren Buffet 76 Berkshire Hathaway 84 USA 5
4 Amancio Ortega 55 Zara 78 Spain 5
5 Larry Ellison 54 Oracle 70 USA 5
6 Bernard Arnault 45 LVMH 65 France 4
7 Mark Zuckerberg 44 Facebook 30 USA 4
8 Charles Koch 36 Energy 79 USA 3
8 David Koch 36 Energy 74 USA 3
8 Dieter Schwarz 36 Retail 75 Germany 3

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2015

North America also accounts for some of the most notable new entrants on the list. Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel, 24, and Bobby Murphy, 26, are the youngest on there, while the Uber and AirBnB founders also made the list this year.

While 649 people on the list had seen their wealth increase since last year, 869 saw it drop – and 95 dropped out of the list altogether.

Movenpick Hotel, owned by Saudi billionaire Al-Walid bin Talal (Getty)

Leading them were the Russians, with the Rouble collapse accounting for a loss of wealth among 60 per cent of all Russians on the list.

Hoogewerf said: “Tech has been leading the way again for new billionaires. It’s all eyes on the new economy.”

Where they live

  Country No of billionaires Change in No. of billionaires
1 USA 537 56
2 China 430 72
3 India 97 27
4 Russia 93 -10
5 UK 80 3
6 Germany 72 6
7 Switzerland 60 4
8 Brazil 56 8
9 Chinese Taipei 48 11
10 France 46 9
11 Japan 45 2
12 Canada 39 4
13 South Korea 33 6
13 Turkey 33 1
15 Australia 32 3
16 Thailand 29 12
17 Italy 27 5
18 Singapore 26 -2
19 Indonesia 24 -3
20 Spain 19 -1

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2015

As a new feature for this year, Hurun has included an index for each billionaire to describe how they came to their monumental wealth.

Warren Buffett, for example, gets 5 out of 5 on his “Self-made scorecard” after working his way up from his grandfather’s grocery store via jobs as a paperboy and car washer.

The slice of Hawaii, including the Kahu’aina Plantation owned by Mark Zuckerberg (Kahu’aina Plantation/BCM)

Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and GoPro’s Nicholas Woodman are among the billionaires ranked 4/5 – meaning they had a “helping hand” from parents “such as through private education”.

With $13 billion, media tycoon Rubert Murdoch makes joint-94th on the list, and is ranked a 3 for being self-made after “inheriting a small business and growing it big time”.

Soumaya museum in Mexico own by Carlos Slim Helu (Getty)

Among those scoring 2 are Liliane Bettencourt, France’s richest woman and the heiress to the L’Oreal empire, who gains some credit for being “active in the business”.

Given a paltry 1 score were those who inherited their wealth and are not actively involved in running the business that created it. They include Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs valued at $18 billion.

The Cheung Kong Centre in Hong Kong, owned by the Cheung Kong Group which belongs to Li Ka Shing (Rex)

For more detail on the world’s 2089 billionaires, click through the gallery above or visit the Hurun website.

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