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World's richest people 2011

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Forbes magazine has released its annual rich list. Here are some of the world’s top money-making people.

America's wealthiest still dominate the global ranks, but more new billionaires now come from China, Russia and other developing economies – and Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helú is holding on to the title of world’s richest man.

This 25th year of tracking global wealth was one to remember. The Forbes 2011 Billionaires List breaks two records: number of billionaires (1,210) and combined wealth ($4.5 trillion).

This combined wealth surpasses the gross domestic product of Germany, one of only six nations to have fewer billionaires this year than in 2010. Brazil, Russia, India and China produced 108 of this year's 214 new names. These four nations are home to one in four members, up from one in 10 five years ago.

Before this year only the United States had produced more than 100 billionaires. China now has 115 and Russia 101.

Wealth creation is moving at an especially breakneck pace in the Asia-Pacific region, which has a record 332 billionaires, up from 234 a year ago and 130 at the depth of the financial crisis in 2009. Sizzling stock markets are behind this surge.

America's wealthiest still dominate the global ranks, but the U.S. is losing its grip. One in three billionaires is an American, down from nearly one in two a decade ago. It has 10 more than last year but 56 fewer than its 2008 peak.

Still there are inspiring newcomers. An obvious example is Facebook, which has spawned six billionaires, including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, whose fortune this year jumped 238% to $13.5 billion.

Top 10: World's richest people 2011

1 Carlos Slim (Mexico) - $74 billion, telecommunications: The Mexican tycoon first showed a business talent as a 10-year-old selling drinks and snacks to his family. After studying engineering, he founded a real estate company and worked as a trader on the Mexican stock exchange.


2 Bill Gates (USA) - $56 billion, Microsoft: Sensing the start of a personal computer revolution, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University in 1975 to start Microsoft and pursue a vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. Microsoft went public in 1986 and by the next year, the soaring stock made Gates, at age 31, the youngest self-made billionaire. Photograph:


3 Warren Buffett (USA) - $50 billion, Berkshire Hathaway: Buffett has run his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate since 1965. Its interests run from railroads to ice cream. Buffett is called the "Oracle of Omaha"[ or the "Sage of Omaha.. Warren Edward Buffett was born on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska state, USA. His father Howard Buffet was s stock broker and Congressman. His mother Leila Buffet was a homemaker. He is the only son and second of the three children.


4 Bernard Arnault (France) - $41 billion, LVMH: Bernard Arnault earned the reputation of a ruthless corporate raider after pushing out shareholder rivals when he started building the LVMH group in the 1990s with the Louis Vuitton, Moet and Hennessy brands. It is now the world's biggest luxury goods group


5 Larry Ellison (USA) - $39.5 billion, Oracle Corp: Flamboyant Oracle founder and CEO, Larry Ellison, is known for his free, public outbursts against rivals such as German software maker SAP AG. Ellison won yachting’s America’s Cup last year and is considered one of the ‘old guard’ of Silicon Valley.


6 Lakshmi Mittal (India) - $31.1 billion, steel: London-based steel tycoon Mittal runs ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel manufacturer. In 2005 he spent $10 million to promote sporting talent and encourage potential Olympians in his homeland after he was disappointed by India’s lone medal at the Athens Games


7 Amancio Ortega (Spain) - $31 billion, retail: Amancio Ortega started his clothing business in the 1960s making dressing gowns in his garage in La Coruna. His company Inditex owns the Zara fashion house and is now the world’s biggest clothing retailer.


8 Eike Batista (Brazil) - $30 billion, mining, oil: Batista has long said he wants nothing less than to be Brazil's and the world's richest person. Just before Rio de Janerio was awarded the 2016 Olympic Games, he bought up a nearby marina that will be a hub of the games - an example of his eye for a well timed deal.


9 Mukesh Ambani (India) - $27 billion, petrochemicals, oil and gas: A chemical engineer by training, Mukesh Ambani dropped out of Stanford University and joined Reliance in 1981. Mukesh, who said in 2009 he would take a two-thirds pay cut after the Indian prime minister’s comments on ‘vulgar salaries’, gave his wife a private jet on her birthday, and also splashed out $1 billion on a 27-story home


10 Christy Walton & family ( USA) -$26.5 billion, The widow of John Walton inherited her wealth after the former Green Beret and Vietnam war medic died in an airplane accident near his home in Wyoming 2005. Now world's richest woman, she got an extra bump in her fortune because of her late husband's early investment in First Solar; shares up nearly 500% since 2006 initial public offering. But bulk still comes from her holdings in Wal-Mart, the retailer founded by her father-in-law Sam Walton and his brother James in 1962.


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