Despite Sliding Down 10 Places in Forbes Magazine’s Rich List, Australia’s Wealthiest Person Gina Rinehart Grew Fortune by $700M in 2013 to $17.7B (VIDEOS)

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By Vittorio Hernandez | March 5, 2014 10:13 AM EST

Most of the world's billionaires get only richer by the day. The only thing that changes is often their ranking on the rich list compiled by publications like Forbes and BRW.

Such again is the case for the controversial Gina Rinehart, the richest person in Australia with an estimated wealth of $17.7 billion, up in 2013 by about $700 million despite going down 10 places in the latest Forbes Magazine rich list to 46 to 36.

The big drop in price of iron ore and legal costs over her family feud failed to substantially dent the mining magnate's fortune, although she is now the fifth richest women on the list from being the richest a few years ago -  a title currently held by Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton.

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But she is still the richest person in Australia with the second placer ranked way below at 208th place - billionaire James Packer with an estimated wealth of $6.5 billion.

In between the two are Rupert Murdoch and his family which are in media. The Murdoch patriarch was born in Australia, and his family went up 13 places to 78th spot with an estimated wealth of $13.5 billion.

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Also moving up one notch, but at the top of the elite list is Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a net worth of $76 billion. He dethroned Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim to second spot with a fortune of $72 billion.

Third place is Spanish clothing giant Zara founder Amancio Ortega at $64 billion.

There are now 1,645 billionaires from 1,426 in 2014, boosted by those who got rich in the stock market. Among the new members are Jan Kourn and Brian Acton, founders of WhatsApp which was purchased recently by FaceBook for $19 billion, placing the two at 202nd and 551st places, respectively.

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