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Buffett named world's richest man

  • Story Highlights
  • Forbes crowns American investor Warren Buffett as world's richest person
  • After 13 years on top, Microsoft's Bill Gates drops to number three position
  • Russia replaces Germany as No. 2 country with 87 billionaires
  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may be youngest self-made billionaire in history
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(CNN) -- Forbes' list of the world's wealthy has named Warren Buffett the richest person on the planet, surpassing his friend and philanthropic partner Bill Gates who had held the title for 13 consecutive years.

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American investor Warren Buffett has been named world's richest person.

The American investor and philanthropist is worth an estimated $62 billion, up $10 billion from a year ago thanks to surging prices of Berkshire Hathaway stock, according to Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the world's billionaires.

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is now ranked as the world's third richest person. At $58 billion, his net worth is up $2 billion from a year ago. Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu was named the world's second richest man, with a net worth of around $60 billion, up $11 billion since last March.

For the first time, Forbes' rich list named more than 1,000 billionaires from around the world, with 226 newcomers. The total net worth of the group is $4.4 trillion, up $900 billion from 2007. Video Watch who's up and who's down »

This year's survey finds an increasing number of the world's richest coming from emerging markets, including China, India and Russia.

Two years ago, 10 of the top 20 billionaires were from the United States. This year, there are only four. India is now home to four of the 10 richest people in the world, the highest number for a single country.

But the United States still holds the top spot as the country with the most billionaires -- Americans account for 42 percent of the world's billionaires and 37 percent of the total wealth, according to Forbes.

With 87 billionaires, Russia is now in second place, overtaking Germany, with 59 billionaires, which had held that position for six years.

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It is also a record-breaking year for young billionaires, with Forbes listing 50 billionaires under the age of 40. Check out the youngest billionaires »

Over half of them are self-starters, including Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and India's Sameer Gehlaut, who started online brokerage Indiabulls. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, age 23, was called "quite possibly the world's youngest self-made billionaire ever." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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