Number of billionaires surges
Bill Gates remains top billionaire, self-made women are few and Wal-Mart makes five people smile.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The number of billionaires surged this year, as did their collective pile of cash, according to Forbes magazine's annual billionaire list.
The magazine said the number of billionaires worldwide increased by 102 people in 2006 to 793, a record number, largely due to bullish global stock markets. Their total net worth jumped 18 percent to $2.6 trillion.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is still the world's richest man, the magazine said, marking his twelfth consecutive year in the No. 1 spot.
Famed investor Warren Buffett again takes second place, and this year the gap between the two moguls is even wider, the magazine said.
Three new people moved into the top 10: France's Bernard Arnault at No. 7, Canada's Kenneth Thomson and family, ranked ninth, and Hong Kong's Li Ka-Shing in the No. 10 spot.
With 371, the U.S. is the country with the most billionaires, followed by Germany with 55, the magazine reported.
The total worth of all U.S. billionaires combined is $1.1 trillion, while Europe's combined billionaire worth is $802 billion, it said.
New York seemed to be the hot spot for the super rich, attracting 40 billionaires, followed by Moscow with 25 and London with 23, according to the magazine.
Over half the billionaires on the list are self-made, and 78 are women. But only six of the female billionaires were self-made.
The youngest on the list was 22-year old Hind Hariri, the daughter of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the magazine said.
People in spots 17 to 21 on the list derived their fortune from the same source: Wal-Mart.