The new Forbes' billionaire list is out, and Bill Gates is still topping the list (as he has for 13 years), with $56 billion rattling around in his pockets. Warren Buffet is number two and there are more billionaires than ever on the planet:
The tally of billionaires around the globe reached a high of 946, their combined wealth growing 35 percent to $3.5 trillion, according to Forbes magazine's 2007 rankings of the world's richest people.
Ingenuity, not industry, is the common characteristic; these folks made money in everything from media and real estate to coffee, dumplings and ethanol. Two-thirds of last year's billionaires are richer. Only 17% are poorer, including 32 who fell below the billion-dollar mark. The billionaires' combined net worth climbed by $900 billion to $3.5 trillion. That equates to $3.6 billion apiece.
The average billionaire is 62 years old, two years younger than in 2005. This year's new billionaires are seven years younger than that. Of list members' fortunes, 60% made theirs from scratch.