Bill Gates Is Once Again the Richest Man in the World

Thanks to surging stock prices, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is at the top of Forbeslist of billionaires, a spot he’s occupied for 15 of the last 20 years.

Bill Gates 

(Photo Credit: OnInnovation/Flickr)

Gates’ fortune came in at $76 billion for the past year. The top five spots are rounded out by Carlos Slim Helu ($72 billion), Amancio Ortega ($64 billion), Warren Buffett ($58.2 billion), and Larry Ellison ($48 billion).

A few more facts about this year’s roundup of the richest of the rich:

  • The average wealth of the full list was $4.5 billion. Collectively, all 1,645 billionaires had a total wealth of $6.4 trillion, up a full trillion from last year.
  • Citizens of Tanzania and Lithuania made the list for the first time.
  • There were 268 newcomers on the list this year, including 42 women. Total, there are 172 billionaire women in the world.
  • The median household income is $52,100 (as of June, 2013). That means that the median-earning American family would have to work more than 86,372 years to have as much money as the average billionaire on the list.

If you were picking people to earn the richest person in the world title, you could do a lot worse than Bill Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates at least 1.5 billion dollars a year to fight polio, AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria, provide access to childhood vaccination, offer financial services for the poor, improve agricultural development, and improve sanitation in the developing world.

Fourth-richest person Warren Buffett sits on the board of the Gates Foundation and has made substantial donations to support the foundation. Buffett, who topped Forbes‘ list a few years ago, has pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth.

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