Forbes 400 Wealthiest Americans Worth More Than Ever

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 16 2013 5:52 PM

Forbes 400 Wealthiest Americans Worth More Than Ever

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Bill Gates of Microsoft is seen during the opening keynote at the RSA conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Five years after the financial crisis sent the American economy reeling and wreaked havoc on ordinary Americans’ retirement plans, Forbes magazine is out with its annual list of Americans that seemed to have escaped pretty much unscathed (a.k.a. the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans).

The rankings may not surprise you, Bill Gates claimed the top spot of wealthy Americans for the 20th year with a net worth of $72 billion. Warren Buffett was this year’s runner-up, but posted the biggest gains to his personal wealth, adding $12.5 billion to his ledger this year. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison came in with the third highest total, followed by the Koch brothers to round out the top five.

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The 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a record $2.02 trillion, roughly equivalent to the GDP of Russia. That is a gain of $300 billion from a year ago, and more than double a decade ago. The average net worth of list members is a staggering $5 billion, $800 million more than a year ago and also a record. The minimum net worth needed to make the 400 list was $1.3 billion. The last time it was that high was in 2007 and 2008, before property and stock market values began sliding. Because the bar is so high, 61 American billionaires didn’t make the cut.

For the full list, head over to Forbes.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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