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Wed Mar 7, 2012, 12:45 PM

Meet the .01% [View all]

The world's top billionaires 2012

Billionaire List Now Includes 1,226 People
128 new billionaires are added to the Forbes' annual list of billionaires, released today. The world's richest have a combined net worth of $4.6 trillion. See who is on the list
2012: New records, new trends

Forbes's first annual list of the world's billionaires, published a quarter-century ago, had 140 names. This year, a record 1,226 billionaires made the list, with a combined net worth of $4.6 trillion, also a record and up from $4.5 trillion in 2011.

Innovation, strong consumer brands and a rebounding U.S. stock market helped produce 128 newcomers to this year's list and brought 17 former members back into the billionaire ranks. Falling stock markets, particularly in China and Russia, were mainly responsible for knocking out 117 individuals.

In addition, 12 members from the 2011 list passed away, including buyout titan Theodore Forstmann and Apple's (AAPL) Steve Jobs, whose widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, takes his spot on the 2012 list.

Overall, 460 billionaires got richer, 441 got poorer and 180 held steady.

This year's billionaires come from 58 countries. The United States remains home to more billionaires than any other nation, with 425, a gain of 12. But only three of the 10 richest hail from the United States, one fewer than last year.


http://money.msn.com/investing/the-worlds-top-billionaires-2012

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