The number of people on Forbes' list climbed to 1,210 billionaires, setting a record with combined wealth of $4.5 trillion, up from $3.6 trillion a year ago.
The global ranks of billionaires grew by 199 people in the past year, but none came close to unseating Carlos Slim, the world's richest man, who added $20.5 billion to his coffers.
No. 2 on the list is Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and now a fulltime philanthropist, who has a net worth of $56 billion. Forbes noted that Gates, once the world's wealthiest man, has given $30 billion to The Gates Foundation. The rebound in the stock market helped investor Warren Buffett's wealth increase to $50 billion.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the popular social networking site Facebook, had the fastest-growing net worth, Forbes said — it more than tripled to $13.5 billion, earning him the No. 52 spot on the list. Another Facebook employee, Dustin Moskovitz, made his debut as the youngest billionaire on the list, with $2.7 billion, putting him at No. 420. He is 26 years old.
Sixteen of the billionaires are Israeli citizens, compared to only 10 included on the list last year.
Six Israelis entered the list for the first time this year, or returned after a long absence. Checkpoint Chairman and CEO Gil Shwed, 42, returned to the list after nearly a decade with $1.6 billion. Shwed's fortune swelled this year thanks to a 40% rise in Checkpoint's shares. His business partner, Marius Nacht, returned to the list too with a fortune of $1 billion.
Four Israelis joined the exclusive billionaires' club for the first time: Teddy Sagi, owner of software company Playtech, which specializes in gambling websites, whose fortune is estimated at $1.2 billion; Michael Strauss, one of the owners of the Strauss food empire, with $1.1 billion; businessman and former Knesset Member Shlomo Eliahu with $1.1 billion, and IDB Chairman Nochi Dankner with a fortune of $1 billion.
Sammy Ofer, whose fortune grew by almost $4 billion this year, leads the 10 Israelis who were on the Forbes list last year as well. He is followed by Benny Steinmetz and Shari Arison.
Two former Israelis, brothers Eddie and Sol Zakay, were included on the list for the first time with a fortune of $2.7 billion. Sol recently returned to Israel on a part-time basis, while Eddie remains in England.
Overall, Forbes said 648 of the billionaires' wealth increased in the past year, while 160 of the world's wealthiest had declining fortunes. The rest were unchanged.
Navit Zomer, Benjamin Tovias, Benny Barak and Ofer Petersburg contributed to this report
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