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


Clockwise from main: Bill Gates, Carlos Slim Helu, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison

Clockwise from main: Bill Gates, Carlos Slim Helu, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison

Clockwise from main: Bill Gates, Carlos Slim Helu, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison

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.

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

1Bill Gates85Investments59USA4
2Carlos Slim Helu & family83America Movil75Mexico5
3Warren Buffet76Berkshire Hathaway84USA5
4Amancio Ortega55Zara78Spain5
5Larry Ellison54Oracle70USA5
6Bernard Arnault45LVMH65France4
7Mark Zuckerberg44Facebook30USA4
8Charles Koch36Energy79USA3
8David Koch36Energy74USA3
8Dieter Schwarz36Retail75Germany3

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.

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

9Chinese Taipei4811
13South Korea336

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.

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”.

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.

For more detail on the world’s 2089 billionaires visit the Hurun website.

Belfast Telegraph