Millionaires & Billionaires

Record 2,089 billionaires in world hold $6.7 trillion

The number of billionaires in the world grew by 222 in 2014, bringing the total to a record 2,089, according to a new report.

The three richest men in the world—Bill Gates, Carlos Slim and Warren Buffett—now have a combined $244 billion, up $52 billion over the past year, or about $100,000 a minute, said the report, which is an annual list of the world's richest individuals. Gates is the richest with $85 billion, up 25 percent over the past year. Slim is just behind with $83 billion, up 38 percent, and Buffett is third with $76 billion, up 19 percent.

Microsoft co-founder and Berkshire Hathaway board member Bill Gates, left, and Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett are shown prior to the annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

But not all billionaires were as fortunate. Of the 2,089 billionaires in the world, 869 saw their wealth decrease while 649 saw increases, said the China-based Hurun Report. In total, the world's billionaires saw their wealth drop by 1.5 percent to $6.7 trillion. That's still more than the combined GDP's of Japan and South Korea.

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There were 341 new billionaires, but 95 dropped out of the billionaire ranks, leaving a net gain of 222. Many of the new faces were in tech.

"Tech has been leading the way again for new billionaires," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher at Hurun. "It's all eyes on the new economy."

Meanwhile, the slowdown in many emerging markets, especially Russia, has reduced the fortunes of the billionaires. Fully 60 percent of Russia's billionaires saw their wealth drop, lead by Vladimir Yevtushenkov and Vagit Alekperov of Lukoil, whose wealth fell by 77 percent and 73 percent, respectively.

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For the first time, India topped Russia to the take the number three slot in countries with the most billionaires. The U.S. had the most, with 537, followed by China with 430, India with 97 and Russia with 93. China added the most billionaires, with 72, followed by the U.S. with 56 and India with 27.