Top 10 Wealthiest People in the World: 2014 Edition

(Photo by Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)

HONG KONG – MAY 22: A man looks at “Dollar Signs” 1980- 1982 by Andy Warhol, represented by gallery Dominique Levey Gallery, New York, at Art Basel , May 22, 2013 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)

In March, Forbes published its 2014 Billionaires List and reported that, unsurprisingly, the world’s richest are only getting richer. This year, the Forbes global wealth team uncovered 1,645 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, which is up from $5.4 trillion a year ago. They also illuminated a record of 268 new ten-figure fortunes, including 42 new female billionaires, another record. Forbes now has 172 women on the list, compared to 138 last year, and more than ever before.

The Forbes Billionaires List ranks individuals rather than large, multi-generational families who share large fortunes, and the 2014 edition is based on estimates from a “snapshot” of wealth on February 12. Today, we’ll highlight the top ten that made Forbes’s list and also some billionaires who made major gains within the past year. One such newly minted billionaire is Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg — the company’s COO joined the ranks for the first time this year, along with Facebook’s vice president Jeffrey Rothschild. In addition, the social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the year’s biggest dollar gainer, according to Forbes, and his fortune jumped $15.2 billion to $28.5 billion as shares of Facebook surged. Forbes’s 2014 list evidences that technology is the most popular vehicle of extreme wealth, and the publication reports that four of twenty-six billionaire newcomers attribute their fortunes to technology.

The U.S. has the most billionaires in the world with 492 representatives, followed by China with 152, and Russia with 111. Who is responsible for all of this incredible wealth? Let’s find out. Here are the top ten 2014 billionaires, according to Forbes: