The 25 Richest People In The World

Posted by on March 1, 2012

Maybe it doesn’t come as a surprise, but there are more rich people in the world today than ever before. The list of billionaires has never been this long and as of right now there are 1,210 of them scattered around the globe. A good number of the recent additions come from places like China and for the first time in history, the wealthiest man on the planet made his fortune in an emerging economy (Mexico).  So, love them or hate them, these are the 25 richest people in the world.
25

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud

25

Net Worth: $19.6 billion

As the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup, Alwaleed has never been one to back down. Even now as the political uprisings all across the Arab world have caused many leaders and public figures to retreat from the limelight, Alwaleed pushes his investments (including the world’s soon to be tallest building) full steam ahead.

24

Larry Page and Sergey Brin

24

Net Worth: $19.8 billion (each)

Coming up with search algorithms is evidently a very lucrative business as both Larry and Sergey tie for the number 24 spot on our list.

23

Thomas & Raymond Kwok & family

23

Net Worth: $20 billion

Aside from all of the familial infighting, the Kwok brothers are the third wealthiest people in the Greater China Region. After the eldest brother was abducted in 1997 and subsequently released, he ended up stepping down from the real estate business leaving Thomas and Raymond in control.

22

S. Robson Walton

22

Net Worth: $20.5 billion

S. Robson is the first of several Waltons on this list. Before joining the company his father started, however, he defended it in court as a partner with Conner and Winters law firm.

21

Alice Walton

21

Net Worth: $20.9 billion

Another heir to the Wal-Mart throne, Alice actually spends most of her time running a horse ranch in Texas although she just recently founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as well.


20

Jim Walton

20

Net Worth: $21.3 billion

Jim , the youngest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, is one of the more private members of the family and not much is known about his personal life.

19

David Koch

19

Net Worth: $22 billion

As the Vice President of Koch Industries David heads up the second largest privately held company in the US and is also the second richest person residing in New York City.

18

Charles Koch

18

Net Worth: $22 billion

Together with his brother, expect the Koch family to use their significant wealth and influence during this election year in opposition to the Obama campaign.

17

David Thompson and Family

17

Net Worth: $23 billion

David is the chairman of Thomson Reuters, the media company started by his grandfather that is now one of the largest media companies in the world. He is also the richest person in Canada.

16

Sheldon Adelson

16

Net Worth: $23.3 billion

After dropping out of college Sheldon struck gold in the world of Las Vegas Casinos. Most of his profits these days, however, (about 90%) come from the Asian gambling market.

15

Liliane Bettencourt

15

Net Worth: $23.5 billion

The richest woman in France is heir to L’Oreal, the French cosmetic company. You probably recognize her name, as she recently reconciled with her daughter after a very publicized family feud.

14

Vladimir Lisin

14

Net Worth: $24 billion

It’s a rags to riches success story. Vladimir started his life working in the coal mines and now he is the richest person in Russia heading up the massive industrial conglomerate, Novolipetsk Steel.

13

Stefan Persson

13

Net Worth: $24.5 billion

After inheriting the fashion company Hennes & Mauritz from his father, Stefan became the richest person in Sweden. Notably, he also owns the village of Linkenholt in England.

12

Karl Albrecht

12

Net Worth: $25.5 billion

With World War II drawing to a close Karl and his brother Theo transformed their mother’s grocery store into the global empire it is today. Although the succes of Aldi has led to him becoming the richest man in Germany, Karl is a fiercely private individual and not much is known about personal life.

11

Li Ka-shing

11

Net Worth: $26 billion

This high school drop out from Hong Kong is the largest health and beauty retailer in the world. Like several others on this list he has promised to hand a significant portion of his wealth over to charity.

10

Christy Walton & family

10

Net Worth: $26.5 billion

When her husband, John Walton, died in a plane crash several years ago, Christy inherited a fortune and not only became the richest Walton in America, but also became the richest woman in the world.

9

Mukesh Ambani

9

Net Worth: $27 billion

Although shares in Reliance Industries (the Indian oil and gas conglomerate he owns) have dropped in recent years, Mukesh is still the second richest person in Asia.

8

Eike Batista

8

Net Worth: $30 billion

The richest man in Brazil seems to only be getting started. Relatively young he recently announced that would be opening offices in New York City and putting some of his companies on the London Stock Exchange. He even warned Carlos Slim Helu, the world’s richest man, that he would be taking his spot soon.

7

Amancio Ortega

7

Net Worth: $31 billion

This Spanish billionaire who recently stepped down from his position as the head of Inditex (Zara) owns numerous properties around the world as well as a soccer league and a horse jumping circuit.

6

Lakshmi Mittal

6

Net Worth: $31.1 billion

Lakshmi’s fortune has taken a significant hit in recent years as shares in his company ArcelorMittal fell 40%. Rising demand for steal, however, has kept him afloat.

5

Larry Ellison

5

Net Worth: $33 billion

As the head of Oracle Corporation, one of the leading software companies in the world, Larry has a good number of toys in his play pen including several exotic jets, boats, and exotic cars.

4

Bernard Arnault

4

Net Worth: $41 billion

Not only is he is Europe’s richest man, he was named Forbes’s “Fashion Person of the Year” in 2011. Not all that surprising considering he sits at the head of Louis Vuitton.

3

Warren Buffett

3

Net Worth: $41 billion

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is often called the “Oracle of Omaha” due to his legendary status as an investor. In spite of all the wealth though, he has made a pledge to give away 99 percent of everything he owns to philanthropic causes.

2

Bill Gates

2

Net Worth: $59 billion

Even though he is no longer the richest person in the world, the name “Bill Gates” has become seemingly synonymous with that position. And although for most of his life he was concerned with creating software, he is now dedicating a significant amount of his time to global health. In fact, he has even stated that his goal is to eliminate infectious disease as a major cause of death in his lifetime.

1

Carlos Slim Helu & family

1

Net Worth: $74 billion

For the first time in 16 years someone not from the United States tops the list of the richest people in the world and what’s more, never before has anyone from an “emerging economy” ever made it to this position. Having lived most of his life in Mexico though, Carlos flew by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in his recent meteoric rise to financial superstar.

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