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BBC World Service

Emerging economies gain on Forbes billionaire list

Rebecca Singer Mar 10, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: There are now more billionaires in the world than ever. According to Forbes Magazine, the U.S. continues to have the most people with billion dollar fortunes. Yet, other countries are catching up. And they’re not the countries you’d expect.

From London, here’s the BBC’s Rebecca Singer.


REBECCA SINGER: With a $74 billion bank account, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim is the world’s richest man for the second year running. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are clinging onto second and third place. But while the number of billionaires in the U.S. continues to grow — American dominance is beginning to slip.

Steve Forbes is editor in chief of the magazine.

STEVE FORBES: The U.S. share of global billionaires is on a downtrend. So while the U.S. is inching forward, parts of the world are just surging forward.

Countries like China — which has added 46 new billionaires in the last year alone. Indonesia has doubled its billionaire count to 14, with coal and tobacco making people big fortunes. And Russia, where Moscow is now home to more billionaires than any other city in the world.

And one last nugget: There are six names on the list, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, who owe most of their fortunes to Facebook.

In London, I’m the BBC’s Rebecca Singer for Marketplace.

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