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Bill Gates tops The Forbes 400 list for 22nd year in succession

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The 34th annual list of the richest Americans sees the highest combined wealth to date at $2.34 trillion
Bill Gates
Image: Francois Lenoir / Reuters Bill Gates

The combined wealth of Forbes’s 2015 ranking of the richest people in America, ‘The Forbes 400’ is $2.34 trillion, up from $2.29 trillion in 2014 and the highest ever. The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member is an astounding $5.8 billion, the highest to date, up from $5.7 billion last year. Net worth increased for 202 members and decreased for 119 members. The cost of admission to the 2015 list was the highest ever at $1.7 billion, up from $1.55 billion a year ago. For the complete Forbes 400 ranking on Forbes.com, visit: www.forbes.com/forbes-400/ .

Bill Gates retains the top spot on The Forbes 400 for the 22nd straight year, at $76 billion, down $5 billion from 2014. Warren Buffett (#2) is at $62 billion, down $5 billion from last year. Larry Ellison (#3), worth $47.5 billion, is down $2.5 billion from last year. Jeff Bezos (#4) was the biggest gainer overall, up $16.5 billion, after Amazon reported a quarterly profit in July. Mark Zuckerberg (#7), worth $40.3 billion, made it into the top 10 for the first time ever.

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Twenty-five newcomers made it to the ranks, including Evan Spiegel (#327) of Snapchat, the youngest on the list, worth $2.1 billion, Brian Chesky (#194) of Airbnb at $3.3 billion, Bill Haslam (#327), governor of Tennessee, at $2.1 billion, and Robert Smith (#268) of Vista Equity at $2.5 billion. Travis Kalanick (#80) of Uber was the biggest percentage gainer, worth $6 billion, up from $3 billion last year. Thirty-five people who were on the 2014 Forbes 400 dropped off the list, including four who died.

The print issue of the magazine includes a 15-page in-depth cover story on Donald Trump’s net worth, “What’s Donald Trump Really Worth?” Trump (#121) is worth $4.5 billion. For 33 years, he’s been building and boasting his way higher on The Forbes 400. Forbes details its long history with Trump, demonstrating its unique window into what makes the most paradoxical presidential candidate in a generation tick by answering a simple question: What is Donald Trump really worth? Trump claims, “I look better if I’m worth $10 billion than $4″.

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