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A billionaire, in countries that use the short scale number naming system, is a person with a net worth of at least one billion (1,000,000,000) units of a given currency, usually major currencies such as the United States dollar, the euro, or the pound sterling. Forbes magazine updates a complete global list of known U.S. dollar billionaires every year. John D. Rockefeller was the first billionaire in history, accomplishing this feat in 1916.
According to the Forbes report released in March 2014, there are currently 1,645 U.S. dollar billionaires worldwide from 66 countries, boasting a combined net worth of $6.4 trillion, which is more than the combined GDP of 152 countries. The United States has the largest number of billionaires of any country, with 492 as of 2014, while China and Russia are home to 152 and 111 billionaires respectively. Among U.S. billionaires, the average age is 66 years.
The table below lists numerous statistics relating to billionaires, including the total number of known billionaires and the net worth of the world's wealthiest individual for each year since 2008. Data for each year is from the annual Forbes list of billionaires, with currency figures given in U.S. dollars.
|Year||Total number of billionaires||Combined wealth of known billionaires||Number of U.S. billionaires||Number of Russian billionaires||Number of Chinese billionaires||Wealthiest individual||Wealthiest individual's net worth|
|2014||1,645||$6.4 trillion||492||111||152||Bill Gates||$78 billion|
|2013||1,426||$5.4 trillion||442||110||122||Bill Gates||$73 billion|
|2012||1,226||$4.6 trillion||425||96||95||Carlos Slim||$73 billion|
|2011||1,210||$4.5 trillion||413||101||115||Carlos Slim||$74 billion|
|2010||1,011||$3.6 trillion||404 (est.)||62||89||Carlos Slim||$53.5 billion|
|2009||793||$2.4 trillion||359||32||28||Bill Gates||$40 billion|
|2008||1,125||$4.4 trillion||470 (est.)||87||–||Warren Buffett||$62 billion|