Record number of billionaires lose status on global rich list

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Last year appears to have been a “tough” one for some of the world’s richest people.

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According to a recent report from the China-based Hurun Institute – which released its annual ranking of the world’s rich this week – nearly $1 trillion worth of wealth was wiped out from the coffers of the world’s ultra rich in 2018.

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The number of billionaires dropped by 224 individuals to 2,470, primarily due to poor stock market performances and an appreciating U.S. dollar., according to the report. A record 430 people fell off the list altogether.

On the flip side, 201 new people were added to Hurun’s list. The average age of individuals ranked was 64.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos retained the top spot for the second consecutive year, with an estimated net worth of $147 billion – an increase of $24 billion over the year prior. Bezos was followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s legendary investor Warren Buffett.

China – for the fourth year – boasted more billionaires than the U.S., despite losing more billionaires than any other country thanks to a significant drop in its stock market and currency, amid an ongoing trade war with the U.S. Beijing was dubbed the “billionaire capital of the world.”

The U.S. had 584 billionaires on the global rich list.

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Of the billionaires ranked, President Trump had the largest Twitter following (58.2 million), followed by Gates (46.4 million), Oprah Winfrey (41.9 million) and Elon Musk (24.8 million).

Trump’s wealth dropped $500 million to an estimated $3 billion.