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Forbes 400 2017: ‘America’s Rich Are Richer Than Ever’

It takes $2 billion to make Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans in 2017. Even a billionaire like Sheryl Sandberg, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, isn’t rich enough to make the cut.
Forbes 400
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“America’s richest are richer than ever. The minimum net worth to make the Forbes list of 400 wealthiest Americans is now a record $2 billion,” said Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan, assistant managing editors of wealth at Forbes Media, in a statement.

And the Richest Man in the U.S. Is…

For the 24th year in a row, Bill Gates tops the list. His net worth is $89 billion. The top 10 richest billionaires are:

1. Bill Gates ($89 billion)

2. Jeff Bezos ($81.5 billion)

3. Warren Buffett ($78 billion)

4. Mark Zuckerberg ($71 billion)

5. Larry Ellison ($59 billion)

6. Charles Koch ($48.5 billion)

6. David Koch ($48.5 billion)

8. Michael Bloomberg ($46.8 billion)

9. Larry Page ($44.6 billion)

10. Sergey Brin ($43.4 billion)

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Forbes notes that the “price of admission” to the list rose by nearly 18 percent this year. Still, there were 22 newcomers to the list, including 14 self-made billionaires.

“But even at these new heights, entrepreneurs are breaking into the ranks for the first time as they mint fortunes in everything from Netflix and telecom to vodka and fishing,” the editors said.

Only 50 women made the list this year, down from 51 in 2016.

And, 26 people who ranked last year dropped off the 2017 list, including Under Armour’s Kevin Plank and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The fortune of President Donald Trump, the first billionaire to become president of the United States, declined to $3.1 billion this year, shedding $600 million.

The “price of admission” to the Forbes 400 rose by nearly 18 percent this year. Click To Tweet

Are You as Educated as a Billionaire?

Forbes provided educational stats this year, offering a glimpse into one of many factors that goes into creating a billionaire. Among the highlights:

  • 84 percent of member have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 33 percent of all American adults.
  • 23 percent have an Ivy League degree.
  • UPenn produced the most Forbes 400 members at 18, followed by Stanford (13) and Yale (13).
  • 45 college dropouts made the list, including the richest billionaire, Bill Gates.
  • 23 high school grads ranked in the top 400.
  • Only 2 high school dropouts ranked (David Murdock, Todd Christopher).

For more information, see The Forbes 400.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your take on this list? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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