Mark Zuckerberg in Berlin
Zuckerberg gained more than $11bn in the last year Reuters

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg made the biggest gains on the Forbes Billionaires list, growing his wealth by $11.2bn (£8bn) in the past 12 months. Zuckerberg went against the trend of his fellow 0.00001 percenters, as the world's billionaires have lost a total of $570bn in the last year.

The world's 20 richest people lost $70bn collectively, with Forbes saying that market volatility struck at their wealth. Microsoft founder Bill Gates held onto his position as richest person in the world for the third consecutive year, but has also lost $54.2bn since February 2015.

The biggest loser on the list was Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican investment giant, who lost more than $27bn, falling from second place to fourth. South American economies have struggled in the past year on the back of the commodity crisis.

The world's billionaires felt the effects of the problems in global markets, which were accelerated on 25 August 2015, known as 'Black Monday', when stock markets plummeted, led by China's Shanghai Composite. Especially the slump in the debt-laden emerging economies is seen as a threat.

Forbes said it was the first time the average net worth of the billionaires fell since 2010. The average billionaire was worth $3.6bn in February, down more than 8% from 2016.


Spanish fashion tycoon and Zara founder Amancio Ortega climbed from fourth position to runner-up on the list.

The UK's number one billionaire, the Hinduja family, were also climbers. The Hinduja family, who top the list of the UK's richest, rose to number 58, according to Forbes. The family's, whose riches came from Indian-born business tycoon and investor Srichand P. Hinduja, has a net worth of $14.6bn.

French heiress and businesswoman Liliane Bettencourt was the highest ranking woman on the list, despite dropping one spot to 11th richest person. Her ranking as wealthiest female came after the widow of Walmart's founder's son, Christy Walton, plummeted to 258th richest after a split in the Walton family's fortune.

Bettencourt, one of the main shareholders of French beauty brand L'Oreal, listed with a net worth of $36.3bn.

These are the top 20 richest people in the world, as listed by Forbes.

  1. Bill Gates, $75bn
  2. Amancio Ortega, $67bn
  3. Warren Buffett $60.8bn
  4. Carlos Slim Helú and family, $50bn
  5. Jeff Bezos, $45.2bn
  6. Mark Zuckerberg, $44.6bn
  7. Larry Ellison, $43.6bn
  8. Michael Bloomberg, $40bn
  9. Charles Koch, $39.6bn
  10. David Koch, $39.6bn
  11. Liliane Bettencourt, $36.1bn
  12. Larry Page, $35.2bn
  13. Sergey Brin, $34.4bn
  14. Bernard Arnault, $34bn
  15. Jim Walton, $33.6bn
  16. Alice Walton, $32.3bn
  17. S. Robson Walton, $31.9bn
  18. Wang Jianlin, $28.7bn
  19. Jorge Paulo Lemann $27.8bn
  20. Li Ka-shing $27.1bn