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The mega rich are mega richer •Total worth of 400 people on the list is $2 trillion, their highest total ever

Bill Gates crowned America’s wealthiest person for the 20th-straight year  with $72 BILLION fortune… and elite are now worth a combined $2 TRILLION

  • Microsoft  co-founder is once again richest man in U.S. with $72 billion
  • Total worth  of 400 people on the list is $2 trillion, their highest total  ever
  • 61 U.S.  billionaires didn’t make the Forbes list of 400 richest  Americans
  • ‘The mega  rich are mega richer,’ said Forbes Senior Editor Kerry Dolan
  • Warren  Buffett and Larry Ellison finish a distant second and third to  Gates

By  Daily Mail Reporter and Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 10:46 EST, 16  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 11:36 EST, 16 September 2013

America’s mega-rich just keep getting richer  – but Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates  remains on top, taking number one spot on Forbes’ wealth list for the  20th  straight year with $72 billion.

Forbes released its annual list of the  richest Americans on Monday. The 400  people on the rankings posted a joint net worth of $2  trillion, up from $1.7  trillion a year ago.

That marks their highest  combined value ever  and this astounding figure further outlines the growing gap between the  exceptionally wealthy and the rest of the country.

While most of the names and rankings didn’t  change from a year ago, the majority of members of the elite club saw their  fortunes grow over the past year, helped by strong stock and real estate  markets.

All smiles: Bill Gates is the richest man in the U.S. for the 20th year running, with a net worth of $72 billion 

All smiles: Bill Gates is the richest man in the U.S.  for the 20th year running, with a net worth of $72 billion

 

 

Spare change: Wal-Mart heir Christie Walton (left) was the highest woman on the rich list at number six, with a net worth of $35.4 billion 

Spare change: Wal-Mart heir Christie Walton (left) was  the highest woman on the rich list at number six, with a net worth of $35.4  billion

‘Basically, the mega rich are mega richer,’  said Forbes Senior Editor Kerry Dolan.

Dolan noted that list’s minimum net income  increased to a pre-financial crisis level of $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion  in 2012, with 61 American billionaires not making the cut.

‘In some ways, it’s harder to get on the list  than it ever has been,’ she said.

Gates remains America’s richest man, taking  the top spot on the list for the 20th straight year, with a net worth of $72  billion, up from $66 billion a year ago.

Investor Warren Buffett, the head of  Berkshire Hathaway, posted another distant second place finish with $58.5  billion, but increased his net worth from $46 billion.

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison stayed third  with $41 billion and was the only member of the top 10 whose net  worth was  unchanged from a year ago.

Runners-up: Warren Buffett (left) and Larry Ellison (right) were second and third. Buffett is worth $58.5 billion while Ellison has $41 billion in the bankRunners-up: Warren Buffett (left) and Larry Ellison (right) were second and third. Buffett is worth $58.5 billion while Ellison has $41 billion in the bank

Runners-up: Warren Buffett (left) and Larry Ellison  (right) were second and third. Buffett is worth $58.5 billion while Ellison has  $41 billion in the bank

 

 

Brothers Charles and David Koch, co-owners of  Koch Industries, stay tied  for fourth with $36 billion each, up from $31  billion in 2012.

Wal-Mart heirs Christy Walton, Jim  Walton,  Alice Walton and S. Robson Walton took the next four spots, with holdings  ranging from $33.3 billion to $35.4 billion, all increasing  from year-ago  levels.

New  York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the  founder of the eponymous  financial information company, rounds out the top 10  with $31 billion,  up from $25 billion.

A total of 48 women made the list including  Hyatt Hotels heir Jennifer  Pritzker at No. 327. Formerly known as James  Pritzker, she’s the list’s  first transgendered member.

According to Forbes, 273 members of the list  are self-made billionaires, while 71 inherited their wealth and another 56  inherited at least some of it but are still growing it.

Trailblazers: Hyatt Hotels heir Jennifer Pritzker, known until August as James Pritzker (left), is the first transgender billionaire on the list at 327. Don Hankey (right) of Auto Loans is the highest-placed newcomer on the Forbes list at 342 and is worth $1.6 billion

Trailblazers: Hyatt Hotels heir Jennifer Pritzker, known  until August as James Pritzker (left), is the first transgender billionaire on  the list at 327. Don Hankey (right) of Auto Loans is the highest-placed newcomer  on the Forbes list at 342 and is worth $1.6 billion

 

 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to the  list’s top 20 after dropping out the year before. His net worth  of $19 billion  earned him the No. 20 spot.

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz also  made the list, at No. 85,with a net worth of $5.2 billion.

At age 29 and just a few days younger the  Zuckerberg, Moskovitz ranks as the youngest member of the list.

On the flip side, the oldest person on the  list is 98-year-old David  Rockefeller Sr. at No. 193 with a net worth of $2.8  billion.

A total of 20 new people joined the rankings.  The highest new entry was  Don Hankey of Auto Loans, worth $1.6 million at 342  on the list.

Other newcomers included Richard Yuengling  Jr. of Pennsylvania beer maker D.G. Yuengling & Son, who ranked at No. 371  with $1.4 billion.

Twenty-eight people dropped off the list,  including six who died.

Those now falling short of the cut include  energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens at  $950 million, Graham Weston of Rackspace  Hosting at $920 million and  Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder at $1.2  billion.

Back to business: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to the list's top 20 after dropping out the year before. His net worth of $19 billion earned him the No. 20 spot 

Back to business: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned  to the list’s top 20 after dropping out the year before. His net worth of $19  billion earned him the No. 20 spot

 

Meanwhile, the average net worth of the  list’s members rose to $5 billion, also  the highest ever, up from $4.2 billion  in 2012. Net worth grew for 314  members and fell for 30, Forbes  said.

The increases aren’t surprising, given that  net worth for America’s  wealthiest people has risen in the years since the  financial crisis,  widening the gap between the exceptionally well-to-do and the  rest of  the country.

According to a study of Internal Revenue  Service figures released last week, the  top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected  19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share in IRS figures  going back a century.

U.S. income inequality has been growing for  almost three decades.

But until last year, the top 1 percent’s  share of pre-tax income had not  yet surpassed the 18.7 percent it reached in  1927, according to the  analysis done by economists at the University of  California, Berkeley,  the Paris School of Economics and Oxford  University.

Some economists have speculated that the  incomes of the wealthy might have  surged in the past year, because they cashed  in stock holdings to avoid  higher capital gains taxes that kicked in in  January.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2421982/Bill-Gates-crowned-Americas-wealthiest-person-20th-straight-year-72-BILLION-fortune–elite-worth-combined-2-TRILLION.html#ixzz2f7MDYiI3 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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