Forbes 2012 Billionaires: in pictures

The world's top 10 wealthiest people, and how they made their combined $395bn.

Forbes has released its list of the world's richest people, featuring a record 1,226 billionaires, in its 25th annual Billionaires Issue.

For the third year in a row, the Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helú has taken the top spot as the world's richest person with a net worth of $69 billion. Bill Gates ($61bn) and Warren Buffett ($44bn) also retain their second and third positions.

With a net worth of $1bn, the 41-year-old founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, features as the youngest self-made woman in the list. No women feature in the top ten; Christy Walton comes in at the 11th spot for her $25.3bn net worth. Americans are the most numerous residents of the billionaires club (425), followed by individuals from Asia-Pacific (315), Europe (310), Central and Latin America (90) and the Middle East and Africa (86).

With a total combined worth of $395.4bn -- down from $406bn the previous year -- here's a list of the world's Top 10 wealthiest people.

Name, Age, Net worth, Company/Industry, Country

  1. Carlos Slim Helú, 72, $69 billion Telmex, América Móvil/Telecoms (Mexico)
  2. Bill Gates, 56, $61 billion Microsoft/Computing technology (US)
  3. Warren Buffett, 81, $44 billion Berkshire Hathaway (US)
  4. Bernard Arnault, 63, $41 billion LVMH/Luxury brands (France)
  5. Amancio Ortega, 75, $37.5 billion Zara/Clothing retail (Spain)
  6. Larry Ellison, 67, $36 billion Oracle/Data hardware, software (US)
  7. Eike Batista, 55, $30 billion EBX Group/Mining, Oil (Brazil)
  8. Stefan Persson, 64, $26 billion H&M/Clothing retail (Sweden)
  9. Li Ka-shing, 83, $25.5 billion various (Hong Kong)
  10. Karl Albrecht, 92, $25.4 billion Aldi/Supermarkets (Germany)


Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.