What Are the Requirements for Appearing on the Forbes Billionaire List?


Quick Answer

Anyone believed to possess at least $1 billion in assets with respect to debt is automatically added to Forbes list of The World's Billionaires, an annual ranking of the planet's wealthiest people. In developing the list, Forbes employs a team of at least 50 reporters from all over the world to track the activity of the wealthiest individuals.

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Full Answer

Preliminary surveys are delivered to individuals believed to be eligible for the list, with estimates of valuable assets, evaluations of business deals and interviews conducted to better approximate their individual net worth. Holdings in publicly traded stock are priced to market just prior to publication, with privately held companies valued using ratios of similar public companies. Subtracting known debt from confirmed assets helps provide the final estimate of individual worth in U.S. dollars.

Once accounting for nearly half the names on the list, the United States habitually outnumbers all world countries in resident billionaires; the biggest name is Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, who has been declared the richest in the world at least 15 times. Other American mainstays include Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, Koch Industries' Charles and David Koch, and Christy and Jim Walton of Bentonville, Arkansas giant Walmart.

The current The World's Billionaires list is viewable online at Forbes.com/billionaires and may be filtered to reflect the youngest, oldest and female high-earners and also to display individuals by industry and home country.

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