Forbes 400: The super-rich get richer

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The super-rich got even wealthier this year, despite the stumbling economy.

Forbes magazine released its annual list of the 400 richest Americans on Wednesday, and their combined net worth climbed 8% this year, to $1.37 trillion. Wealth rose for 217 members of the list, while 85 saw a decline.

forbes_cover.03.jpg

Bill Gates is yet again the richest man in America. The founder of Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500), the world's largest software maker, is first on the Forbes list with an estimated fortune of $54 billion, up from $50 billion in 2009. He's followed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who is worth $45 billion.

Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500), stood at No. 3 with $20 billion.

Christy Walton took the No. 4 spot, while members of her family -- whose fortune comes from Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) -- took spots 7 through 9.

Charles and David Koch, of private energy conglomerate Koch Industries, tied for No. 5 at $21.5 billion each. Both men saw their wealth skyrocket by $5.5 billion from 2009.

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, rounded out the list at No. 10 with $18 billion.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who clocked in at No. 35 on the list, saw his wealth rise 245% over the year -- the largest percentage increase on the list.

Forbes said 16 new members joined the list this year, including Facebook's Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin. At 26 -- 8 days younger than Zuckerberg -- Saverin is the new youngest on the list.

By contrast, 34 people fell off the list this year. One notable drop-off is Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, who is facing 185 years in prison,

Despite the recession, finance and investment industries continued to dominate the list; 55 members are from the finance industry, while 54 are from the investments sector.

Did you get a factory job? Have you recently been hired in the manufacturing industry? Tell us about itand you could be featured in an upcoming story on CNNMoney.com. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,048.39 -50.06 -0.29%
Nasdaq 4,588.99 8.72 0.19%
S&P 500 1,998.81 -4.56 -0.23%
Treasuries 2.41 0.07 2.86%
Data as of 2:14pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 103.42 0.92 0.90%
Bank of America Corp... 16.12 0.03 0.19%
Staples Inc 12.64 0.96 8.22%
Facebook Inc 76.12 1.30 1.74%
Intel Corp 34.51 -0.41 -1.19%
Data as of 1:59pm ET

Sections

Nike flexes its huge dollar advantage by signing Durant to a $300 million endorsement deal that trumps $285 million offer from Under Armour More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

The latest celebrity photo hack shows your digital life doesn't end at your phone. If your stuff lives on "the cloud," you don't control the data. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

A scam where fraudsters impersonate IRS agents has now stolen $5 million from taxpayers, and this woman - who lost her entire life savings -- is just one of its victims. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.