Jeff Bezos Is Now The Richest Person In The World

A new report has revealed how the wealthiest people in the world collectively grew their bank accounts in 2017 by around $1tn. The figure is a sharp rise on 2016, which saw the top earners' wealth increase by a mere $237bn.

The richest individuals, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, were able to weather mixed economic fortunes around the world, as well as a shifting social and political climate, according to Bloomberg.

Bezos made the most gains in 2017, adding around $34bn to his estimated net worth of almost $100bn.

He managed to move ahead of Gates to take the top spot as the world's wealthiest person, in part thanks to the substantial charity giveaways by the former Microsoft boss that dented his personal fortune. It is thought that Gates gave away almost $5bn to charity in 2017.

When trading closed on 26 December 2017, the world's richest 500 billionaires owned around $5.3tn of wealth, compared to $4.4tn at the same time in 2016.

The super rich in Asia, particularly China, made the most gains over the past 12 months, with 38 Chinese billionaires adding $177bn to their pots, which marked a 65% increase on 2016.

Tech firms also won big in 2017, with the industry representing just over $250bn of gains, almost as much as the next three largest sectors combined.

One of these tech gainers was Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who added $22.6bn to his fortune, though he has revealed that he intends to give away much of his wealth which stands at just over $72bn.

However, the rich are also discovering that the huge gains are needed in an expensive world. Divorce settlements among the super rich are now reaching the $1bn mark while the average home for the rich is thought to be worth $300m.