The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2013, adding $524 billion to their collective net worth.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals, the total net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the market close on 31 December.
The biggest gains came in the technology industry, which soared 28% during the year. Of the 300 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2013, only 70 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.
Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates recaptured the title of world's richest person on 16 May from Mexican investor Carlos Slim, who lost $1.4 billion during 2013.
Gates, 58, was the year's biggest gainer – his fortune increased by $15.8 billion to $78.5 billion, as Microsoft shares rose 40%.
The biggest loser of 2013 was Brazilian Eike Batista, who lost more than $12 billion throughout the year. Batista was the world’s eighth-richest person in March 2012, but his oil company OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA filed for bankruptcy protection in October.
The list also revealed 109 billionaires in 2013 who have never appeared on an international wealth ranking, including Lynsi Torres, the youngest female billionaire in the US.
The 31-year-old heiress to In-N-Out Burger watched her family expand the chain from a single drive-through hamburger stand founded in 1948 in California, into a fast-food empire valued at more than $1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The year was also good to Shutterstock founder Jonathan Oringer, who became the first billionaire to emerge from Silicon Alley in New York City after a 222% surge in his company’s stock.
The 39-year-old founded Shutterstock in 2003 with 30,000 of his own pictures and turned it into the world’s largest stock photo and video marketplace. He has a net worth of $1.5 billion.
The world’s 10 richest people at 31 December, 2013
- Microsoft founder Bill Gates, $78.6 b
- Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim, $73.8 b
- Zara founder Amancio Ortega $66.4 b
- American investor Warren Buffett, $60.8 b
- IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad $53.4 b
- Koch Industries co-owner Charles Koch, $50.2 b
- Koch Industries co-owner David Koch, $50.2 b
- Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, $43.7 b
- Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton, $39 b
- Wal-Mart heir Jim Walton, $37.3 b
* All figures are in US dollars.