Frozen in 1999 - for more recent info go to

    Meet the superrich, 200 citizens of the world who are both rich and powerful. Coupon clippers need not apply.
The Global Power Elite

Edited by Kerry A. Dolan

Search the billionaires

The Global Power Elite


The Americas


Middle East And Africa

Russia and Central Europe

Kings, Queens and Dictators

The Coupon Clippers

Reported by Jose Aguayo, Katrina Burger, Bernard Condon, Michelle Conlin, Justin Doebele, Carleen Hawn, Stephan Herrera, Stephen S. Johnson, Naazneen Karmali, Paul Klebnikov, Luisa Kroll, Juliette Rossant, Daniel Roth, Silvia Sansoni, Carrie Shook, Cristina von Zeppelin, Caroline Waxler, Neil Weinberg and Soo Young Yoon

Additional research by Cynthia Crystal, Velma Van Voris and Courtney Porter

BILLION BUCKS isn't what it used to be. Own a few apartment buildings in Tokyo, and—even in this market—you're almost certainly worth a bill. Take a high-tech company public when it's hot, and you're in the no-longer-so-exclusive billionaire club.

Ten years ago Forbes started counting billionaires outside the U.S. We found 96. Last year, 298—plus 149 American billionaires. With stock markets around the world up an average 23% in the last year, the billionaire population, like the deer population, is sure to have increased.

Bowing to economic reality, we have revised our selection process this year. A billion bucks no longer gets you in. You've got to have made it yourself, or you've got to be actively managing it. This eliminates a fair number of jet-setters and Palm Beach residents. We have culled the roster of billionaires down to 200 people around the globe, the Global Superrich.

Take Dell Computer's Michael Dell. He is by no means the richest on the list, but the company he has built is shaking the computer industry to its core.

Sixty of the Global 200, 30%, are Americans—roughly in line with the U.S.' 26% share of the world's gross economic product. Asia accounts for 56 names on the list, a reflection of the dynamism in Asia in the 1990s. Only 44 call Europe home, a comment on that region's declining economic status. Their fortunes were valued using stock prices from early June.  


From the Global 200 Forbes editors have highlighted ten who we think are the most creative and successful—though again not necessarily the wealthiest—businesspeople in the world today. They appear starting on the right. The choices are, of course, somewhat subjective, but in business as in everything else you can't judge an entrepreneur's importance simply by the size of the pile he has made. In places like India or Eastern Europe someone who has put together a $250 million fortune is probably worth knowing as much as your average American billionaire is. We address this problem by including 27 "heavy hitters"—men (yes, they're all men) who aren't yet worth a billion, but who nonetheless wield outsize influence in their countries.

Do you want to know more about the superrich in the issue, plus several individuals who for one reason or another barely missed inclusion in these pages? Check out The Digital Tool, Forbes' new Web site. Among the features is a search engine that allows you to parse the data—you can, for example, ask for the subgroup of billionaires under age 40 who also hold M.B.A. degrees. Also available: addresses and telephone and fax numbers for the publicly owned companies that are the source of wealth for many of these global plutocrats. Try Forbes Digital Tool at  


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