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Last year, it took USD 1.3 billion to land a spot in the list of the wealthiest Americans. This year, the entries start at USD 1.55 billion, pushing 113 billionaires out of the rankings.
The latest Forbes 400 list, ranking the wealthiest Americans, is led once again by Microsoft chairman and philanthropist Bill Gates, who occupies the top spot for the 21st year in a row with a net worth of USD 81 billion.
Warren Buffet, the 84-year-old chief executive of Berkshire Hathway, stays put at number two – a rank he has held since 2001 – with a net worth of USD 67 billion.
Larry Ellison, who recently announced that he was giving up the position of CEO in favour of a dual-CEO arrangement at Oracle, stands in third place with a net worth of half a billion.
The complete list of 400 stands at a combined net worth of USD 2.29 trillion. Before you count how many zeroes are in that, the amount is about the same as the GDP of Brazil with its population of 200 million.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest dollar gainer in this year’s list, ranked 11th for his net worth of USD 34 billion, which more than doubled in the past year.
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Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, a health technology company that has revolutionised blood testing, is a newcomer to the 2014 ranking. Her pioneering work makes her the youngest women on Forbes 400 and the youngest self-made female billionaire.
Other newbies to the list include Jan Koum and Brian Acton, co-founders of social messaging service Whatsapp, and the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick.
On the other hand, there were some near misses who could not make the cut this year, like AirBNB’s founding team, and the 20-something founders of Snapchat.