AUSTRALIA is home to 22 billionaires, Forbes magazine has revealed, with mining magnate Gina Rinehart the wealthiest of those with an estimated net worth of $17 billion.
Ms Rinehart came in at No. 36 overall on the Forbes billionaires list, which was topped by Mexican telco giant Carlos Slim Helu and his family with a net of $73 billion.
It was the fourth year in a row Mr Helu topped the Forbes rich list, with the 73-year-old increasing his wealth by $4 billion in the past year.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who Forbes described as the "world's most generous man", was second on the list with a net worth of $67 billion.
The Forbes contained a record 1426 names with their aggregate net worth coming in a staggering $5.4 trillion, up from $4.6 trillion. Just 138 women made the list, up from 104 last year.
Of the Australian billionaires, their combined net worth came in at $73 billion.
Forbes said Ms Rinehart, 59, remained the richest woman in the Asia-Pacific region and in the top five richest women in the world despite falling iron ore prices shaving $1 billion off her net worth.
Second on the list of Australian billionaires and 175th overall was Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of mining and trading giant Glencore International, whose net worth of $6.7 billion was more than $10 billion less than Mr Rinehart.
Rounding out the Australian top five was James Packer, Andrew Forrest and Frank Lowy.
Mr Packer, 45, who now derives most of his wealth from gaming, was the youngest of Australia's billionaires with a net worth of $ billion.
Queenslander Clive Palmer did not make the list of billionaires.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was 91st on the overall list with a net worth of $11.2 billion, but was not included on Australia's rich list as he now identifies as an American citizen.
The United States again had the highest representation on the list with 442 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific (386), Europe (366), the Americas (129) and the Middle East and Africa (103
There were 23 billionaires under the age of 40 on this year's Forbes list.
1st/36th overall - Gina Rinehart (mining, $17 billion)
2/175 - Ivan Glasenberg (commodities, $6.7 billion)
3/198 - James Packer (gaming, $6 billion)
4/211 - Andrew Forrest (mining, $5.7 billion)
5/229 - Frank Lowy (shopping centres, $5.3 billion)
6/276 - Harry Triguboff (real estate, $4.5 billion)
7/384 - John Gandel (shopping centres, $3.5 billion)
8/527 - Kerr Neilson (finance, $2.7 billion)
9/589 - Paul Ramsay (hospitals, $2.5 billion)
10/641 - David Hains (finance, $2.3 billion)
10/641 - Kerry Stokes (media, $2.3 billion)
12/704 - Stanley Perron (real estate, $2.1 billion)
13/792 - Lindsay Fox (logistics, $1.9 billion)
14/931 - Michael Hintze (finance, $1.6 billion)
15/1031 - Leonard Buckeridge (construction, $1.4 billion)
16/1175 - Langley Walker (real estate, $1.2 billion)
17/1268 - Len Ainsworth (gaming, $1.1 billion)
17/1268 - Robert Ingham (agriculture, $1.1 billion)
19/1342 - Gerry Harvey (retail, $1 billion)
19/1342 - Huang Bingwen and family (printing, $1 billion)
19/1342 - John Van Lieshout (real estate, $1 billion)
WORLD TOP 10 BILLIONAIRES
1 - Carlos Slim Helu (telecom, $73 billion)
2 - Bill Gates (Microsoft, $67 billion)
3 - Amancio Ortega (Zara, $57 billion)
4 - Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway, $53.5 billion)
5 - Larry Ellison (Oracle, $43 billion)
6 - Charles Koch (diversified, $34 billion)
6 - David Koch (diversified, $34 billion)
8 - Li Ka-shing (diversified, $31 billion)
9 - Liliane Bettencourt and family (L'Oreal, $30 billion)
10- Bernard Arnault and family (LVMH, $29 billion)
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