Wed, 07 Mar 2012 17:10:46 GMT | By Luisa Kroll and Kerry A. Dolan,
The world’s top 10 billionaires

Forbes 2012

Forbes 2012 (© Alex Slobodkin/iStock)
  • Forbes 2012 (© Alex Slobodkin/iStock)
  • Karl Albrecht, Aldi (© Nick Wass/AP Images for Aldi)
  • Li Ka-shing (© Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua/Photoshot/Newscom)
  • Stefan Persson, H&M (© imago stock&people/Newscom)
  • Eike Batista (© Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
  • Larry Ellison, Oracle (© Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom)
  • Amancio Ortega, Zara (© Javier Rodriguez/El Pais Photos/Newscom)
  • Bernard Arnault, LVMH (© Eric PiermontT/AFP/Getty Images)
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This year the Top Billionaires list broke records for the most number of billionaires (1,226) and combined net worth, at $4.6 trillion, up from $4.5 trillion. Behind those numbers is a more complicated story of rapid change among the world's wealthiest. There are now billionaires from 58 countries. The U.S. is still home to more billionaires than any other country, with 425, a gain of 12. Mainland China and Russia were both clobbered. They have 95 and 96, respectively, down from 115 and 101 last year. Click through to see who are the top 10 wealthiest people in the world.

* More than 50 reporters in 16 countries worked on compiling the list this year, valuing individuals' public holdings, private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash. Net worths were locked in using stock prices and exchange rates from Feb. 14.

* Video: How to take care of your financial life

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