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He can't give it away FAST ENOUGH: Bill Gates richest man in world again

Microsoft founder back on Forbes rich list

Bill Gates

Despite Bill Gates' best efforts to offload his massive pile of cash, it seems there's literally nothing the Microsoft founder can do to avoid being the richest man in the world.

Gates was named wealthiest human on the planet by Forbes for 16 of the past 21 years. According to the research, last year Gates made more money than he gave away.

His fortune comes in at $79.4bn, up from $76bn this time last year, but down from $81bn in September. In October 2014 Forbes also named him "the most philanthropic American", having donated $2.65bn to charity.

Silicon Valley created 23 new filthy rich individuals last year, including Evan Spiegel from Snapchat, who at 24 was the youngest billionaire with a fortune of $1.5bn.

Other new-comers include the founders of "sharing economy" companies including such as Uber's Travis Kalanick ($5.3bn) and Airbnb's Brian Chesky ($1.9bn).

Meanwhile, Australia is outpacing the UK for its amount of billionaire technology entrepreneurs.

Co-founders of software company Atlassian Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar both came in at 1,638 – each with a fortune of $1.1bn.

In contrast, of nearly 150 individuals to have made their wealth from technology, Michael Lynch was the only UK name on the list with his fortune of $1bn placing him at 1,741 .

Lynch made more than £500m through his sale of Autonomy to HP in 2011.

But that is still only half of the fortune of HP's CEO Meg Whitman, who came in at 949 with her fortune of $2bn.

Elsewhere familiar names graced the top 20. Oracle founder Larry Ellison came in at number five with his fortune $54.3bn, up from $48bn last year.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos made the 15th spot with a fortune of $34.8bn, followed by Mark Zuckerberg at 16 ($33.4bn), Google's Larry Page at ($29.7bn), and the Chocolate Factory's Sergei Brin at ($29.2bn). ®

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