Forbes Rich List 2009: Even Bill Gates Took a Hit

Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s richest people, and it’s a bit smaller than usual. The number of billionaires in the world has dropped from 1,125 last year to only 793 now, the publication reports, and the average net worth among them has fallen 23 percent to a measly $3 billion. (And you call that an income? Pshaw.)

Even our pal Bill Gates took a hit, Forbes’ list reports, with his worth dropping a full $18 billion to $40 billion total. Even with the loss, though, Gates moved back into the top spot he had previously lost, as previous richest man Warren Buffett suffered a substantial slide of his own: Buffett lost $25 billion, Forbes says, as his Berkshire Hathaway shares fell almost 50 percent over the past year.

So cue the Idol music, money fans: Here’s your top 12(ish) and their current net worth, according to Forbes’ rich list of billionaires in 2009.

Forbes Billionaires 2009

1. Bill Gates — $40 billion

2. Warren Buffett — $37 billion

3. Carlos Slim Helu and family — $35 billion

4. Lawrence Ellison — $22.5 billion

5. Ingvar Kamprad and family — $22 billion

6. Karl Albrecht — $21.5 billion

7. Mukesh Ambani — $19.5 billion

8. Lakshmi Mittal — $19.3 billion

9. Theo Albrecht — $18.8 billion

10. Amancio Ortega — $18.3 billion

11. Jim Walton — $17.8 billion

12 (tie). Alice Walton — $17.6 billion

12 (tie). Christy Walton and family — $17.6 billion

12 (tie). S. Robson Walton — $17.6 billion

Read the full list here.