Bill Gates has returned to the top of Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's richest people, as rising stock markets swelled the ranks of billionaires, which included a record number of women.
With a net worth of $76 billion, the Microsoft Corp
Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of clothing conglomerate Inditex SA
Investing icon Warren Buffett, who runs Berkshire Hathaway Inc
Gates has topped the list in 15 of the last 20 years.
A record 1,645 billionaires with a total net worth of $6.4 trillion made Forbes' list, up from 1,426 last year.
Just over 10 percent were female, with 172 women compared with 138 a year earlier.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
The Internet was well-represented. Google Inc
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left office two months ago, was 16th at $33 billion, built mainly through his eponymous media company.
Forbes said the year's biggest loser was Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, whose net worth fell below $300 million from $10.6 billion as his oil and natural resources empire collapsed amid too much debt and falling output.
Roughly two-thirds of the world's billionaires, or 1,080, were self-made. The United States had the most billionaires, with 492, followed by China at 152 and Russia at 111. Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda joined the list with one each.