Trends in the Forbes 400

The figure shows the wealth of the top person on the list has increased from $4.9 billion in 1982 to $121 billion in 1999 (in 2014 inflation adjusted dollars). In 2014, Bill Gates is the richest person with an estimated total wealth of $81 billion. In real dollars, Bill Gates' wealth declined by half from 1998 to 2003. Gates has donated a substantial portion of his wealth to charity ($28 billion), principally the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Declines in real wealth occurred after the 1988, 2002, and 2009 recessions.
The total wealth of the Forbes 400 reached $2.29 trillion in 2014. It was $1 trillion in 1998. The graph plots the net worth of the Forbes 400 in real 2014 dollars. In 2014, a net worth of $1.55 billion was required to join the Forbes 400. One hundred thirteen billionaires did not make the list.

Source: Forbes Magazine, October, Forbes 400 issues published annually in October since 1982.

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Updated:Saturday, 08-Nov-2014 17:41:45 PST
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