131 Californians make Forbes’ billionaire list

Bill Gates, with an eye-popping net worth of nearly $80 billion, has retained his title of the world’s richest person.

According to Forbes, which released its 2015 billionaires list Monday, there are now a record 1,826 billionaires worldwide, worth a combined $7.05 trillion. California is home to 131 of them.

That’s significantly more than the combined net worth of $6.4 trillion that billionaires tallied in 2014. However, the average net worth fell $60 million this year to $3.86 billion, Forbes said.

Microsoft co-founder Gates saw his wealth climb $3.2 billion to $79.2 billion, according to Forbes, earning him the premier spot on the Forbes 2015 Billionaires List. And riding his investment in the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan made the list for the first time, squeaking in with a net worth of $1 billion.

Rounding out the top five are telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu ($77.1 billion), investor Warren Buffett ($72.7 billion), Zara founder Amancio Ortega ($64.5 billion) and Oracle founder/owner of Lanai Larry Ellison ($54.3 billion). Ellison was the top Californian on the list.


Indeed, the state’s tech hub in Silicon Valley helped the Golden State dominate the list. California has 131 billionaires, greater than nearly all countries, according to Forbes.

Only the United States and China had more.

Silicon Valley denizens at the top of the list are Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (16th) with a net worth of $33.4 billion and Google CEO Larry Page (19th), who Forbes says is worth $29.7 billion.

California has more than tech wealth, however.

Los Angeles’s Patrick Soon-Shiong has a net worth of $12.2 billion, making the doctor-businessman-philanthropist the world’s 96th richest person, according to Forbes.

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