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Gates and Buffett top Forbes rich list but Soros falls

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Bill Gates has been named the wealthiest American for the 19th year in a row, according to Forbes' rich list.

He now has a fortune of $66bn (£41bn), up $7bn from last year.

The Sage of Omaha Warren Buffett was in second place once again with a fortune of $46bn and there was no change in the order of the top five richest people compared to last year.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and financier George Soros dropped from the top 10 into 12th place compared with a year ago.

However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg suffered the biggest drop, falling from 14th to 36th place, after a disappointing listing of his social networking company. He lost nearly half his fortune, which is now worth an estimated $9.4bn.

The total wealth of the US’ richest people grew 13% to $1.7tn, with the top 400 worth an average $400m more in 2012.

This means their assets are worth as much as one eighth of the US economy, and grew much faster than the economy as a whole, according to Forbes.

Below are the top ten from the Forbes list:

  1. Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, $66bn
  2. Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, $46bn
  3. Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle, $41bn
  4. Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, $31bn
  5. David Koch, co-owner and executive vice-president of Koch Industries, $31bn
  6. Christy Walton & family, heiress to Walmart fortune, $27.9bn
  7. Jim Walton, heir to Walmart fortune and chairman of Arvest Bank, $26.8bn
  8. Alice Walton, heiress to Walmart fortune, $26.3bn
  9. S Robson Walton, heir to Walmart fortune, $26.1bn
  10. Michael Bloomberg, founder and principal owner of Bloomberg LP, $25bn.

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