|The figure shows the wealth of the top person on the list increased from $4 billion in 1982 to Bill Gates' $109 billion in 1999 (in 2009 inflation adjusted dollars). In real dollars, Gates' wealth had declined by half in 2002 and was $50 billion in 2009. Gates has donated a substantial portion of his wealth to charity ($28 billion), principally the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The rest of the decline was due to declining stock values with the 2002 and 2009 recessions.|
|The total wealth of the Forbes 400 reached $1.57 trillion in 2008. It dropped to 1.27 trillion in 2009. The graph plots the net worth of the Forbes 400 in real 2009 dollars. While the wealth of the richest person has not changed substantially since 2002. The aggregate wealth of the Forbes 400 has increased as the level to be in the group has increased. In 2008, a net worth of $1.3 billion was required to join the Forbes 400. In 2009, the level of entry dropped to $950 million.|
Source: Forbes Magazine, October, Forbes 400 issues published annually in October since 1982.
Updated:Wednesday, 14-Oct-2009 13:20:30 PDT
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