Above: Forbes’ list newcomers, Snapchat founders Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel
Microsoft founder Bill Gates may still be the world’s richest man but there are plenty of young online upstarts making themselves quite at home at the top of Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans this year.
Gates’ estimated wealth of $US76 billion ($108 billion) easily puts him in the top spot for the 22nd year in a row in the annual list of America’s richest billionaires. Gates is worth a good $US10 billion more than the second richest American billionaire, Warren Buffett, who has estimated wealth of $US62 billion.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Larry Page are all new to the top 10, coming in as the fourth, seventh and 10th richest billionaires in America.
Bezos is the year’s biggest list climber, jumping $US16.5 billion and from 15th place in the last year alone, while in percentage terms it is Uber founder Travis Kalanick who has gained the most after doubling his wealth to $US6 billion.
The full rich list reveals a total of 25 newcomers, including 16 who made their own fortunes rather than piggybacking their way up the list because of inheritance.
One notable newcomer is Airbnb entrepreneur Brian Chesky, who at age 34 is worth $US3.3 billion.
Also joining the club is Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel of Snapchat, with Spiegel alone worth an estimated $US2.1 billion and who at 25 also takes the title of the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.
Seventy-seven year old Nike founder Phil Knight is another notable high-flyer, scoring a top 20 spot for the first time in almost two decades.
The 10 richest people in the US:
- Bill Gates $US76 billion ($108 billion)
- Warren Buffett $US62 billion ($88.3 billion)
- Larry Ellison $US47.5 billion ($67.6 billion)
- Jeff Bezos $US47 billion ($66.9 billion)
- Charles Koch $US41 billion ($58.3 billion)
- David Koch $US41 billion ($58.3 billion)
- Mark Zuckerburg $US40.3 billion ($57.3 billion)
- Michael Bloomberg $US38.6 billion ($54.9 billion)
- Jim Walton $US33.7 billion ($47.9 billion)
- Larry Page $US33.3 billion ($47.2 billion)