There are 2,153 billionaires on the 2019 list, down from 2,208 in 2018. The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires is $8.7 trillion, down from $9.1 trillion in 2018. This represents the first decrease in billionaires and their combined wealth since 2016 and only the second decrease in the past decade. A record 994 individuals are worth less than a year ago; last year only 360 members got poorer. The average net worth of this year’s billionaires is $4 billion, down from $4.1 billion in 2018. Of the total, 1,450 members are self-made.
For the second year running, centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos remained in the top spot, increasing his net worth to $131 billion, up $19 billion from 2018. Bill Gates, who held the top spot for the longest period of time, remained in the No. 2 position with a fortune of $96.5 billion, up from $90 billion last year. A rise in Amazon’s stock price pushed up Bezos’ net worth, further widening the gap between the top two richest, now the largest since 2001. Warren Buffett’s net worth fell by $1.5 billion to $82.5 billion but secured him the No. 3 spot. Bernard Arnault, held onto his position as the fourth-wealthiest person in the world by increasing his fortune to $76 billion, up $4 billion from the previous year; he remains the richest person in Europe for two years running. Rounding out the top five is telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, who ascended two spots on the list despite a decrease in net wealth of over $3 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg notably dropped three places to No. 8, as his fortune fell by $8.7 billion.
Kylie Jenner, at 21 years old, made the 2019 Forbes Billionaires list for the first time. Jenner is the youngest billionaire in the world and the youngest self-made billionaire of all time.
You can view the full rankings and related stories at Forbes’ website.