Entrepreneurs

There are a record 2,208 billionaires in the world, according to Forbes' 2018 rich list

Jeff Bezos
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Jeff Bezos

There are more billionaires than ever and they are richer than ever too. That's according to Forbes' annual ranking of the world's billionaires, published Tuesday.

There are a record 2,208 billionaires in the world, up from 2,043 in 2017, according to Forbes. And the average wealth of the billionaires is $4.1 billion, a record high.

Taken together, the billionaires of the world are worth $9.1 trillion, up from $7.7 trillion last year, Forbes reports.

"The superrich continue to get richer, widening the gap between them and everyone else," according to a Forbes statement.

Many of the top spots on the list are held by self-made entrepreneurs.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world with a net worth of $112 billion. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the second richest person in the world with a net worth of $90 billion. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the fifth richest person in the world, with a net worth of $71 billion.

Indeed, 67 percent (1490) of the world's billionaires are self-made, according to Forbes.

As the rich get richer, however, economic inequality between the rich and the poor is a problem, according to some of those who hold top spots on the list of the world's richest people.

Bill and Melinda Gates, for example, addressed wealth inequality in their most recent annual letter from their namesake philanthropic organization.

"No, it's not fair that we have so much wealth when billions of others have so little," said Melinda. "And it's not fair that our wealth opens doors that are closed to most people."

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has also publicly addressed the problem of wealth inequality.

"The real problem, in my view, is — this has been — the prosperity has been unbelievable for the extremely rich people," said Buffett on PBS Newshour in June.

The investor also noted that in 1982, according to Forbes, the richest 400 Americans were worth $93 billion. In 2017, Forbes tallied that group at $2.4 trillion, said Buffett.

"This has been a prosperity that's been disproportionately rewarding to the people on top," explained Buffett. "The economy is doing well, but all Americans aren't doing well," he said.

For its ranking of global billionaires, Forbes used stock prices and exchange rates from February 9, 2018.

See also:

Billionaire Ray Dalio: There are 2 realities in this country—for the bottom 60 percent it's a 'miserable economy'

Billionaire Warren Buffett says 'the real problem' with the US economy is people like him

How Amazon founder Jeff Bezos went from the son of a teen mom to the world's richest person