- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 20 September 2012 05:52, Updated 21 September 2012 06:30
Monied ... Bill Gates has again topped Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. America’s richest of the rich now have a new worth equal to about one-eight of the entire US economy. Photo: Scott Eells
It’s a good time to be a wealthy American. That’s the upshot of Forbes’ latest richest Americans list, which has found that the net worth of the US’ wealthiest rose 13 per cent over the past year to $1.7 trillion.
The richest of rich Americans now have a net worth that is equivalent to one-eighth of the entire US economy, but social media moguls are letting the side down after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Groupon chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Zynga CEO Mark Pinkus all suffered declines in their fortunes.
According to Forbes, the average net worth of the 400 richest people in America rose more than 10 per cent to a record $US4.2 million, with the upper echelons of the rich list hauling the overall tally of wealth higher.
“The gap between the very rich and merely rich increased and helped drive up the average net worth of The Forbes 400 members to an all-time record $US4.2 billion,” Forbes senior wealth editor Luisa Kroll told Reuters.
Microsoft founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates tops the list again with a net worth of $US66 billion, ahead of bridge buddy and uber successful investor Warren Buffett at a mere $US46 billion. Other familiar entrants in the top 10 include Oracle founder Larry Ellison ($US41 billion) and billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch ($US31 billion each).
Others weren’t so fortunate, with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson ($US20.5 billion) dropping out of the top 10, along with philanthropist George Soros, who slipped from eight place to 12 place with a fortune of $US19 billion.
Tech billionaires continue to be heavily represented in the top 20, with Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos ($US23.2 billion), Google founders Sergey Brin ($US20.3 billion) and Larry Page ($US20.3 billion), Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer ($US15.9 billion) and Microsoft founder Paul Allen ($US15 bilion) joining Gates and Ellison.
According to Reuters, “45 women made the cut, up from 42 last year. California has the largest share of Forbes 400 members, with 87, followed by New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois. Among cities, New York City topped the list, with 53. San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles and Houston rounded out the top-five cities.”
Now find out how rich people make their money