Thursday, December 14, 2017
Business

How Forbes 400 richest Americans fared in past year

NEW YORK — Life is good for America's super wealthy.

Forbes on Monday released its annual list of the 400 richest Americans. While most of the top names and rankings didn't change from a year ago, the majority of the elite club's members saw their fortunes grow over the past year, helped by strong stock and real estate markets.

Forbes senior editor Kerry 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.

Microsoft co-founder Bill 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.

Some interesting facts from this year's list

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

• Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to the list's top 20 after dropping out in 2012. His net worth of $19 billion earned him the No. 20 spot.

• A total of 20 new people joined the rankings, including Richard Yuengling Jr. of Pennsylvania beermaker D.G. Yuengling & Son.

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

• 48 women made the list, including Hyatt Hotels heir Jennifer Pritzker at No. 327.

• The 400 people on the annual list posted a combined net worth of $2 trillion, up from $1.7 trillion a year ago and marking the highest combined value ever.

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