The richest people in the world have a amazing amount of assets — as good as to the GDP of small countries for some. Many of the world’s richest, like Microsoft founder Bill Gates or Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg are self-made and took an idea that they turned into a billion-dollar fortune. For others, like the Koch brothers of Koch Industries, their businesses were inherited, but their control of the company led to overwhelming amounts of wealth.
There are more than 2,000 billionaires in the world, Forbes reported, and that number is only expected to grow. Based on recent estimates from Forbes, the world’s richest people range from tech CEO’s to heiresses to expert investors. Read on to find out how and why these people got so rich.
- Michael Bloomberg (U.S.)
Net worth: $47.5 billion
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also the CEO and 88% owner of Bloomberg L.P. In 2013 Bloomberg took the number ten spot with a fortune of $47.5 billion net worth. He is an American businessman, author, politician, and philanthropist. His net worth is estimated at US$ 53.4 billion, as of July 2017, ranking him as the 6th richest person
- David Koch (U.S.)
Executive Vice President, Koch Industries
Net worth: $48.3 billion
David H. Koch and his brother Charles Koch of Diverse Industries, saw an increase in their fortune with a net worth of 48.3 billion, up from $39.6 billion last year. He is an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He joined the family business Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the United States, in 1970.
- Charles Koch (U.S.)
CEO, Koch Industries
Net worth: $48.3 billion
Diverse Industries Chairman and CEO Charles Koch took the number eight spot on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s billionaires. He tied with his twin brother, with a fortune of $48.3 billion each. He is an American businessman, political donor and philanthropist. He is co-owner, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer of Koch Industries since 1967, while his brother David Koch serves as Executive Vice President.
- Larry Ellison (U.S.)
Net worth: $52.2 billion
Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp was number seven on the list with his $52.2 billion fortune. He is an American businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who is co-founder, executive chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle Corporation.
- Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico)
Chairman, América Móvil
Net worth: $54.5 billion
Once the richest man in the world, Mexico’s Carlos Slim fell to number six, the first time he’s been out of the top five in a dozen years. He is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. From 2010 to 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world.
- Mark Zuckerberg (U.S.)
Co-founder and CEO, Facebook
Net worth: $56 billion
For the first time, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg moved to the number 5 spot for the first time after his fortune increased by $11.4 billion in 12 months. He is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Facebook, and currently operates as its chairman and chief executive officer.
- Amancio Ortega (Spain)
Net worth: $71.3 billion
Coming in at number four on the Forbes World’s Billionaires List is Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara clothing and accessory retail shops. The 80-year-old Spanish fashion executive came in with a net worth of $72.2 billion. He is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. Amancio is the wealthiest retailer in the world.
- Jeff Bezos (U.S.)
Net worth: $72.8 billion
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was this year’s biggest gainer with a $27.6 billion increase in his fortune, now worth $72.8 billion. He moved into the top three in the world for the first time. He is an American technology and retail entrepreneur, investor, computer scientist, and philanthropist who is best known as the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Amazon.
- Warren Buffett (U.S.)
CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
Net worth: $75.6 billion
Investor Warren Buffet grabbed back the number two spot from Zara founder Amancio Ortega with his $14.8 million jump in 12 months. He is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Buffett serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
- Bill Gates (U.S.)
Net worth: $86 billion
Gates has held the No. 1 spot as the world’s richest person for four years in a row, and for 18 out of the past 23 years. For the fourth year in a row, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates once again topped the Forbes magazine list of the world’s richest billionaires. He has a fortune of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year. In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen launched Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company.