U.S. financier Warren Buffet, 77, has overtaken his friend and partner in philanthropy, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, as the richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine's annual list of billionaires.

Forbes reports the chief of the Berkshire Hathaway holding company experienced a $10 billion jump in net worth last year to $62 billion, enough to end Gates' 13-year streak at the top.

Gates' estimated $58 billion worth led him to a third place finish, behind Mexico's telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú.  Helú's wealth spiked from $49 billion last year to $60 billion this year.

The magazine released the figures Wednesday.  A total of 1,125 people from around the world made the billionaires' list, up from 946 last year. Their net worth is $4.4 trillion, $900 billion more than last year.

Americans led the rankings with 42 percent of the overall billionaires, while Russia, with 87 billionaires, replaced Germany as the second place country.  India took third-place with four people in the top 10.

Two years ago, half of the world's 20 richest people were from the United States.  Now only four are.

The rankings include 226 newcomers. Two of them, South Africa's Patrice Motsepe and Nigeria's Aliko Dangote, are the first black Africans to make the list.  Forbes says Dangote is Nigeria's first-ever billionaire.

Young billionaires also broke records this year.  Of the list's members, 50 are under the age of 40, including the founder of social networking Web site Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, 23, who Forbes says might be the youngest self-made billionaire in history.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.