Gates, whose wealth is estimated at $86 billion, led the list for the fourth straight year.
He was followed by Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett – with an estimated wealth of $75.6billion, before a bevy of American tech giants dominated the rest of the top ten.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was number three with a net worth of $72.8billion, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was fifth with $56billion, and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison came it at number seven with $52.2billion in the bank.
The rest of the top ten included Amancio Ortega – Inditex fashion group founder and the richest non-American – at number four with $71.3billion, Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim at six with $54.5billion, Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch in eighth and ninth with $48.3billion, while Michael Bloomberg rounded it out with $47.5billion.
Trump’s plummet down the list to number 544 with an estimated net worth of $3.5billion was the result of $1billion being slashed from his valuation in the same list last year.
Forbes attributed Trump’s drop to sluggishness in the Manhattan real estate market which is responsible for a disproportionate amount of his wealth.
‘Forty percent of Donald Trump’s fortune is tied up in Trump Tower and eight buildings within one mile of it,’ Forbes said.
1. Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder: $86billion
2. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway CEO: $75.6billion
3. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO: $72.8billion
4. Amancio Ortega, Inditex fashion group founder: $71.3billion
5. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO: $56billion
6. Carlos Slim, Mexican telecom mogul: $54.5billion
7. Larry Ellison, Oracle co-founder: $52.2billion
8. Charles Koch, Koch Industries CEO and chairman: $48.3billion
9. David Koch, Koch Industries CEO and chairman: $48.3billion
10. Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg co-founder: $47.5billion
11. Bernard Arnault, LVMH CEO: $41.5billion
12. Larry Page, Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO: $40.7billion
13. Sergey Brin, Google co-founder and Alphabet president: $39.8billion
14. Liliane Bettencourt, L’Oréal heiress: $39.5billion
15. S. Robson Walton, Wal-Mart heir: $34.1billion
16. Jim Walton, Wal-Mart heir: $34billion
17. Alice Walton, Wal-Mart heiress: $33.8billion
18. Wang Jianlin, Dalian Wanda Commercial Property chairman: $31.3billion
19. Li Ka-shing, Cheung Kong Holdings CEO: $31.2billion
20. Sheldon Adelson,Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO: $30.4billion ‘Lately, the neighborhood has been struggling (relatively speaking).’
Trump had steadfastly refused to release his tax returns, which would prove how much he is truly worth, however the Forbes figure is substantially lower than the president has claimed.
During the campaign, then-candidate Trump boasted he was worth, ‘in excess of $10billion’, the Guardian reports.
Trump was in fact tied with 19 other people at number 544, including disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and Texas billionaire Robert McNair.
However, the president will perhaps take some comfort in outranking Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on the list, who has an estimated net worth of $3.4billion.
Overall, the global billionaire population jumped 13 per cent from last year to 2,043, the biggest annual increase in the 31 years since the magazine began compiling the list, Forbes said. Including in the 195 newcomers to the list are 15 self-made women.
The new arrivals took the total number of women ranked by Forbes to 227. The US led countries with the most billionaires with 565, while China was second with 319 billionaires, and Germany was third with 114.
This year it took at least $3.7 billion in wealth to make it onto the list, but only in a tie for 501st place, a group that included Hollywood director Steven Spielberg.
The total worth of the names on the list was about $7.67trillion – or about 46 per cent of the US’ GDP.
Forbes explained how it creates its ‘snapshot’ ranking as part of the list.
‘The Forbes Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth taken on February 17, 2017; we used stock prices and exchange rates from around the world to calculate net worths,’ the magazine said. ‘
We list individuals rather than multi-generational families who share large fortunes, though we include wealth belonging to a billionaire’s spouse and children if that person is the founder of the fortune.’