WASHINGTON: Microsoft founder Bill Gates has once again regained the spot of world’s richest person after his main rival for the title saw his net worth fall.
According to the Forbes' 28th Annual Billionaires list, Mr Gates had a net worth of $76bn, up from $67bn the previous year, a figure that was $4bn higher than Telecom mogul Carlos Slim who had held the top spot for the past four years.
Forbes identified a record 1,645 billionaires – up from 1,426 in 2013 – with an accumulated wealth of $6.4trn.
The business magazine said this was the first year when a net worth of $31bn was needed for billionaires to make it into the top 20.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just missed out, despite being the biggest net gainer who was found to have more than doubled his fortune to $28.5bn – thanks to the value of his shares in the social network soaring.
A record number of women made the list – growing 25% on 2013 with 172 billionaires.
The highest ranked woman was Christy Walton of Walmart retail fame at number 9 who had a net worth of $36.7bn, beating off last year's richest woman – L'Oreal's Liliane Bettencourt – who was worth $34.5bn.
There were 47 billionaires identified in the UK, led again by the Duke of Westminster whose property empire drove his fortune to $13bn.
It put him the 81st richest in the world, Forbes said, ahead of other notable UK billionaires including Simon and David Reuben who, like the Duke, also benefit from their real estate empires in London.
Newcastle United and Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley came in at 256 in the world with $5.5bn.
Forbes said Technology was among the fastest-growing sectors for wealth, with 26 newcomers to the list worldwide including Dropbox CEO Drew Houston with $1.37bn.
There were 100 people who dropped out of the rankings, 16 because they passed away.