Bill Gates
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with a $86bn fortune, has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the last 23 yearsMike Segar/ Reuters

The world's super-rich have been busy over the last 12 months adding to their ranks and growing their wealth.

Billionaire's across the globe saw their net worth jump by 18% to $7.7trn (£6.2trn) over the last year, according to Forbes 2017 billionaires list.

It said that the number of billionaires lifted by 13% to 2,043, the first time it has unearthed more than 2,000 super wealthy in the list's 31-year history.

In total 233 new billionaires joined the list, the largest number to join this elite club since rankings began in 1986.

There are no surprises at the top with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at number one for the fourth year in a row. His fortune rose to $86bn, from $75bn last year. Gates has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the last 23 years.

Investor Warren Buffett was in second place with a fortune of $75.6bn, a $14,8bn jump on a year ago.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had the greatest rise in riches over the last year with his fortune hitting $72.8bn, a $27.6bn gain on a year ago. He claimed the number three spot on the list, up from five.

It was a mixed year for property mogul Donald Trump, who became US President, but also tumbled 220 places on the wealth list to 544 and must now get by on $3.5bn.

The richest UK residents are the banking-to-cable television Hinduja family with a combined wealth of $15.4bn.

Two hundred and twenty-seven women make the current list, up from 202 a year earlier. Hong Kong's Zhou Qunfei, founder of Lens Technology, the touchscreen manufacturer, is the wealthiest self-made woman at $7.4bn.

The US has the most billionaires with its 565, next comes China at 319, Germany is third with 114, and India with 101 takes fourth spot.