Mining magnate Gina Rinehart is the only Australian to feature in the top 100 of Forbes magazine’s list of the richest people in the world.
Western Australia’s Rinehart, 58, ranked 29th in the world, with an estimated wealth of $US18 billion. Rinehart has greatly expanded her business interests since inheriting a mining company from her father, Lang Hancock.
She is now ranked 19th on Forbes’ list of most powerful women in the world.
US citizen Rupert Murdoch came in at 106 on the world rich list, with $US8.3 billion. Murdoch built a global media empire from a single newspaper in Adelaide and is now ranked the world’s 24th most powerful person. Another Western Australian miner, Andrew Forrest, came in at 173 on the list, with an estimated $US5.8 billion fortune. James Packer is at number 223, with $US4.7 billion.
Mexican Carlos Slim Helu, 72, is still the richest person in the world with a $US69 billion fortune built from telecommunications.
Second on the list is Microsoft founder Bill Gates ($US61 billion) who has handed out $28 billion of his fortune since retiring.
US investment guru Warren Buffett is third on the list with $US41 billion.
Eleven of the top 20 are US residents, and nine of the top 10 own retail or consumer product companies. According to Forbes, a record 1,226 people around the globe have a net worth counted in billions of US dollars.
Eighteen Australian citizens made the Forbes billionaire list.