The Forbes’ 2016 list of the 400 richest people in America, “The Forbes 400” , has a record-breaking, combined total net worth of $2.4 trillion, up from $2.34 trillion in 2015.
The average net worth hit $6 billion, also a record high, up from $5.8 billion last year. The minimum net worth needed to make the list remains at $1.7 billion, unchanged from 2015.
Bill Gates retains the top spot on The Forbes 400 for the 23rd consecutive year, with a net worth of $81 billion. Despite a fortune of $65.5 billion and being up $3.5 billion from 2015, Warren Buffett (No. 3) surrenders the runner-up spot that he has held for 15 years to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (No. 2), worth $67 billion. Bezos is the biggest gainer on the list; his fortune is up $20 billion from 2015, attributable to Amazon shares surging 56%. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (No. 4), worth $55.5 billion, made it into the top 5 for the first time. Rounding out the top 5 is Larry Ellison (No. 5), worth $49.3 billion, up $1.8 billion from last year; Ellison drops from the number 3 rank for the first time since 2007.
Success of Immigrants
Forbes 400 show success of immigrants and the thriving American dream. There are a record number of members born outside the U.S., and that’s a positive trend in terms of entrepreneurship and job growth. The number of immigrants has more than doubled since 1986; this year 42 slots (including three married couples) are occupied by naturalized citizens who immigrated to America. That represents 10.5% of the list, a significant number, considering that naturalized citizens make up only 6% of the U.S. population. They came from 21 different nations, led by Israel (6), India (5), Hungary (4) and Taiwan (4).
Donald Trump fell 35 spots to No. 156 this year. Trump is worth $3.7 billion, down $800 million from last year, largely due to a decrease in New York real estate prices and new information about his holdings. Forbes presents an asset-by-asset breakdown of his empire. Forbes has been tracking The Donald’s fortune since the debut of The Forbes 400 in 1982. His fortune is real, though by no means approaching the $10 billion that Trump continues to maintain he is worth.
The Top 10 Richest Americans
|Rank||Name||Wealth||$ Change from 2015||Source of Wealth|
|1||Bill Gates||$81 billion||Up||$5 billion||Microsoft|
|2||Jeff Bezos||$67 billion||Up||$20 billion||Amazon.com|
|3||Warren Buffett||$65.5 billion||Up||$3.5 billion||Berkshire Hathaway|
|4||Mark Zuckerberg||$55.5 billion||Up||$15.2 billion|
|5||Larry Ellison||$49.3 billion||Up||$1.8 billion||Oracle|
|6||Michael Bloomberg||$45 billion||Up||$6.4 billion||Bloomberg LP|
|7||Charles Koch||$42 billion||Up||$1 billion||diversified|
|7||David Koch||$42 billion||Up||$1 billion||diversified|
|9||Larry Page||$38.5 billion||Up||$5.2 billion|
|10||Sergey Brin||$37.5 billion||Up||$4.9 billion|
Feature stories include:
- The American Dream Is Alive and Well: Immigrants are taking a beating on television, at political rallies, even on Capitol Hill. But in The Forbes 400, it’s a love story. We’ve never had more members – over 10% —born outside this country. That’s a healthy thing for America entrepreneurship and job growth.
- The Definitive Look at Donald Trump’s Wealth: Forbespegs the GOP presidential nominee’s net worth at $3.7 billion – down $800 million from last year. From depressed real estate prices to new information, Forbes presents a transparent, asset-by-asset breakdown of his empire.
- Bottle Royale: Dick Yuengling built America’s oldest brewery into a $550 million powerhouse, becoming a billionaire. Now it’s time to pass the family business on to a sixth generation – but which of his daughters will inherit the billion-dollar throne?
- A View from the Top: As a child, Philip Anschutz had the mile-high ambition to own the lavish Broadmoor hotel in Colorado. Six decades later, the Denver billionaire finally purchased the grand mountainside resort and the realist has surpassed his dream.
- Pain and Gain: John Kapoor made his billions by letting his drug companies push legal and ethical limits. Most recently, he’s used those tactics to sell one of the strongest narcotics in the world.
- Net worth increased for 187 members (vs. 202 in 2015); decreased for 114 members (vs. 119 in 2015); and remained even for 63 members (vs. 44 in 2015).
- Self-Made Category: 266 members of the list are self-made billionaires, 65 inherited their wealth and 69 inherited at least a portion and are working to increase it.
- Women: 50 (plus an additional 7 women who share fortunes and are listed with their husbands) vs. 46 in 2015 (an additional 5 women last year shared fortunes with their husbands).
- The youngest billionaire is cofounder and CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel (#335), age 26, with a net worth of $2.1 billion. The oldest billionaire is David Rockefeller Sr. (No. 214), age 101, with a net worth of $3.1 billion.
- Twenty-two billionaires made their debut on the list this year, including Todd Christopher, Vogue International; Charles Cohen, Cohen Brothers Realty; Rakesh Gangwal, IndiGo; Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA; and Jeff Rothschild, Two-thirds of the 2016 newcomers inherited at least a portion of their wealth.
- A record 153 billionaires did not make the cut this year, falling short of the $1.7 billion minimum needed to make the list.
- Twenty-six people who were on the 2015 Forbes 400 dropped off the list, while another 6 died; 3 were moved to Forbes’ list of Richest Families. Notable drop-offs include Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos; William “Bill” Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management; Jack Dorsey, Twitter; and Nicholas Woodman, GoPro.
- The top three industries are:
- Finance and Investments – 93
- Technology – 55
- Food and Beverage – 42