Forbes’ Richest People 2014 List Still Topped By Americans, But Just Barely

Forbes‘ richest people list for 2014 includes 500 people, but some Americans might be surprised that billionaires from outside the United States have reached the top three spots.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, Jack Nicholson and Barbara Streisand were the richest people to attend the Oscars this past weekend. Interestingly enough, Forbes‘ richest people list for Africa was dominated by those from South Africa.

Just like last year, Bill Gates is once again the richest person in the world with a net estimated worth of $76 billion. But the interesting part is that Bill Gates’ net worth actually went down this past year, dropping from a high of $78.5 billion, and at one point he was no longer the richest man in the world (and Apple fans rejoiced). Much of his wealth is tied into the stock price of Microsoft, so any large swings can dramatically affect how much Gates is worth.

But Carlos Slim Helu is from Mexico and he once was the richest man in the world. He’s now worth $72 billion but the only reason he didn’t keep his title was because Mexico’s government passed a bill to prevent him from becoming a monopoly. At is is, America Movil SAB is still the largest mobile phone carrier in the Americas.

In third place we have Amancio Ortega, who is a Spanish fashion executive and founding chairman of the Inditex fashion group. Ortega is best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. As of 2014, the Forbes’ richest people in the world list places Ortega at number three.

But from there on the list is dominated by Americans, with Warren Buffet’s net worth estimated at $58.2 billion. Counting down to the top 10, we have Larry Ellison of Oracle ($48 billion), Charles and David Koch ($40 billion each), Sheldon Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation ($38 billion), and Christy and Jim Walton of Wal-Mart ($36.7 and $34.7 billion).

The interesting part is that years ago the aggregate wealth of all these billionaires was “only” several trillion, while now it tops $6.4 trillion. Of course, the list also grew from 400 to 500 people, so that’s to be expected. Still, some people may say this is a symptom of the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer.

Were you surprised that Forbes‘ richest people list in 2014 has so many non-Americans in the top spots?

[Photo credit: OnInnovation / Flickr]