New York- Bill Gates has once again topped Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of global billionaires. It's the second time in a row that the Microsoft founder has been crowned the world's richest person , and the 16th time in the past 21 years.

Mr Gates' net worth rose to $79.2bn (£51bn) from $76bn a year earlier, after he unloaded one third of his remaining stake in the tech firm he co-founded in the 1970s.

That sale included a gift of shares worth $1.5bn to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2014, which brought his lifetime giving up to $29.5bn, Forbes said. Most of Mr Gates' work is now focused on philanthropy through his charity foundation.

Mexico telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim ranked second, worth $77.1bn, while Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett was third, with $72.7bn.

Mr Buffett's fortune grew $14.5bn from a year earlier, more than anyone's else, despite having donated $2.8bn to several charities last July.

Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of Zara owner Inditex, was fourth at $64.5bn, while Oracle chairman Larry Ellison was fifth at $54.3bn.

Forbes identified a record 1,826 billionaires, up from 1,645 last year, worth a combined $7.05 trillion. The list is in its 29th year.

The publication said that entrepreneurship is thriving globally, as 1,191 members of the list are self-made billionaires, while just 230 inherited their wealth. Another 405 inherited at least a portion but are still working to increase their fortunes.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, aged 30, rose to 16th place from 21st last year, with his net worth now $34.8bn.

The youngest billionaires were Evan Spiegel, 24, and Bobby Murphy, 25, who co-founded mobile messaging app Snapchat, and are each worth $1.5bn.

Courtesy: The Telegraph