Forbes latest ranking of the world’s richest people has a record 256 women on it; many female billionaires inherited wealth
This is good news for rich women.
Forbes magazine just released its annual ranking of the world’s billionaires and 256 women made the list, which comprises of 2,208 extremely wealthy individuals. This marks a record high for women, though females still make up less than 12% of the index.
There were just two women who ranked among the top 20 richest people in the world, both of whom inherited their wealth. Alice Walton, whose father created Walmart, comes in at 16th place, with an estimated net worth of about $46 billion. Closely behind in 18th position, with a fortune of $42.2 billion, is Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the new matriarch of the family behind L’Oréal.
Indeed, the majority of female billionaires were part of the lucky sperm club, though there were 72 self-made women, which Forbes says is an all-time high. In pole position is the China-born, Hong Kong billionaire Zhou Qunfei, who is in her late 40s. Zhou’s fortune, which the magazine pegs at $7.8 billion, derives from Lens Technology, the smartphone screen maker she created. According to Forbes, the countries with the large numbers of female billionaires were the United States and China. That’s not exactly surprising, giving that they’re the first and second largest economies in the world.
That said, it’s also important to note that while many women inherited wealth, the likes of Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart (in 69th spot with a fortune of $17.2 billion) and German industrialist Susanne Klatten (32nd place, $25 billion) played significant roles in growing those fortunes.
The youngest person on the list is Norway’s Alexandra Andresen (1,650th place, $1.47 billion), who at 21 has a huge stake in a family-owned hedge fund that her father still runs. The oldest woman is Peru’s 93-year-old Ana Maria Brescia Cafferata (1,561th position, $1.5 billion) whose company controls much of the world’s fish meal supply.
Meanwhile, the usual suspects made up the top of the list. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ($112 billion), Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates ($90 billion) and investor Warren Buffet ($84 billion) come in at first to third respectively.
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