NEW YORK: Donald Trump may be the Republican frontrunner for the White House, but he is slipping behind in the world billionaires race, Forbes magazineâ€™s new list of the planetâ€™s richest people shows.
Trump, who has made his enormous wealth a key selling point in his presidential bid, came in 324th in the magazineâ€™s 2016 ranking of the worldâ€™s billionaires, which was published Tuesday.
That means that more than 200 billionaires have jumped ahead of the ever competitive real estate mogul since 2015 when he placed 121st on the annual list.
The magazine put Trumpâ€™s net worth at an above average $4.5bil (RM16.6bil), the same as last year but about half the $10bil (RM41bil) fortune candidate Trump often claims to have amassed.
In other highlights, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is still ranked the worldâ€™s richest person with an estimated net worth of $75bil (RM310bil), $4.2bil (RM16.6bil) less than last year.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had the best year of all, adding $11.2bil (RM45bil) to his fortune.
Forbes put the 31-year-oldâ€™s net worth at $44.6bil (RM182bil), ranking him number six, just behind Amazonâ€™s Jeff Bezos ($45.2bil) (RM186bil). It was the first time either of them made the top ten.
It hasnâ€™t been a banner year for billionaires, however.
According to Forbes, their number has slipped to 1,810, 16 fewer than last year, and their aggregate net worth shrank by $570bil (RM2.4tril) to $6.48tril (RM24tril).
This is also the first year since 2010 that the average individual billionaireâ€™s fortune has dropped, settling at $3.6bil (RM12bil), $300mil (RM1.2) less than last year, it said.
A volatile stock market, cratering oil prices and the strong dollar have reshuffled the ranks of billionaires, the magazine said.
Only two held on to their previous yearâ€™s rank — Gates, who has been number one for three straight years, and investor Warren Buffet, whose $60.8bil (RM2.4tril) fortune put him in third place.
Mexicoâ€™s telecoms magnate Carlos Slim slipped to fourth place, giving up second to retailer Amancio Ortega of Spain ($67bil) (RM3tril). Slimâ€™s fortune plunged from $77.1 (RM3.1tril) to $50bil (RM2tril).
Forbes said 221 people fell off the list altogether, replaced by 198 newcomers.
The youngest billionaire was 19-year-old Danish heiress Alexandra Andresen. Her 20-year-old sister Katharina is the second youngest on the list.
In all, 66 billionaires are under 40 years of age. The richest of the 190 women on the list was Liliane Bettencourt of France who was ranked 11th with $36.1bil (RM1.5tril), down from $40.1bil (RM1.4tril) last year.
The United States is still the country with the most billionaires (540), followed by mainland China (251) and Germany (120).
Russia has 77 billionaires, Hong Kong 69, and Brazil 23, down from 31 last year. – AFP