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Learning English - Words in the News
11 March, 2005 - Published 14:51 GMT
List published of richest people in the world
Who is the richest in the world?

In the USA, Forbes magazine has published its annual list of the richest people in the world. Bill Gates of Microsoft is the richest man again for the eleventh successive year with a fortune of forty-four billion dollars. This report from Mark Gregory:

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There are a record 691 dollar billionaires, according to Forbes magazine. Between them they have a fortune of two point two trillion dollars. That figure is slightly more than the annual value of all goods and services produced in China and India, the two most populous countries. The highest concentration of the ultra-rich is in New York, followed by Moscow and San Fransisco and then London and Los Angeles. But in total the very wealthy live in forty seven different countries, with Iceland, Kazakstan, Ukraine and Poland entering the list for the first time this year.

Laksmi Mittal, an Indian born steel tycoon, enjoyed the biggest increase in personal fortune. His net worth has quadrupled to thirteen billion dollars making him the world's third richest man. Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the Swedish furniture chain Ikea, also saw a big increase in wealth taking him to sixth place. Developing countries make more of a showing than in past years - there are for example three Russians and four Indians in the top sixty richest people, though surprisingly perhaps none from China, excluding Hong Kong. Asian wealth is probably under-represented as its usually spread among families, whereas Forbes looks at individuals.

Relatively few women feature in the list - among them is JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels, ranked 620th with a fortune of 519 million dollars. New entrants to the list include the founders of the internet search group Google Sergie Brin and Larry Page, each worth more than seven billion dollars after their company's recent stock market debut. The richest Italian is the prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, ranked number 25 in the global wealth league.

Mark Gregory

Listen to the words

following one after another

dollar billionaires
a billion is one thousand million (1,000,000,000). A dollar billionaire is someone who has the equivalent of a billion dollars in money and property.

a trillion is a million million (1,000,000,000,000)

most populous
with the highest number of people living there

very very rich

net worth
'net' is used to describe the value of something after all deductions e.g. tax have been deducted. A person's net worth is how much all their property, investments and so on are worth.

increased by four times.

developing countries
a poor country which is trying to build up industry and improve the living conditions for people who live there.

In this case, shown to be less than its true value

the people who started and created a company

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