Microsoft founder Bill Gates tops list of world's richest people

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has once again been named the richest person on the planet. Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/Press Association Images

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, has been named the world's richest person again beating Mexican businessman Carlos Slim to the top spot, according to Forbes magazine.

Mr Gates' fortune grew $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion and he has now topped the list for 16 of the past 21 years according to Forbes.

There was also a record number of 197 women on the list, up from 172 last year, but only two women feature in the top ten - Christy Walton who is the richest woman in the world mainly due to her stake in Wal-Mart at number eight, and Liliane Bettancourt, who is the daughter of L'oreal founder Eugene Schueller, at number 10.

A list of the world's top five billionaires and their worth is below:

$79.2bn

Bill Gates

$77.1bn

Carlos Slim Helu

$72.7bn

Warren Buffett

$64.5bn

Amancio Ortega

$54.3bn

Larry Ellison

The number of British billionaires on the Forbes rich list has risen to 53, up six from last year.

The Hinduja brothers are the wealthiest Britons with a net worth of $15bn US dollars (£9.76 billion).