Forbes has traced a record 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories including the first ever from Hungary and Zimbabwe. The average net worth of billionaires is a record $4.1 billion. This elite group is worth $9.1 trillion, up 18 per cent since last year. Forbes released the Billionaires 2018 list on Tuesday.
Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China with 373. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos topped the list's for the first time, becoming the only person to appear in the Forbes ranks with a 12-figure fortune.
Bezos moved ahead of Bill Gates, who is now number 2. Bernard Arnault, with a fortune of $72 billion, reclaims the title of richest European for the first time since 2012.
Mukesh Ambani, Founder and Chairman, Reliance Industries, secured 19th place with a fortune of $40.1 billion. Ambani is one place ahead of Chinese entrepreneur Jack Maa. chairs and runs $51 billion (revenues) oil and gas giant Reliance Industries, among India's most valuable companies.
There are 259 newcomers including the first ever cryptocurrency billionaires; two Canadians whose toy company is behind Hatchimals and PAW Patrol; two Americans who founded online retailer Wayfair; and a 35-year-old heiress who runs In-N-Out Burger.
Also, 121 people dropped out due to falling fortunes or political headwinds, including all 10 Saudi Arabians.