Forbes’ new list of the world’s wealthiest was just released, and while there are a few familiar faces and drops in the list, the most surprising change was the significant rise in female billionaires.
The majority of these female billionaires also created their own fortune rather than inheriting it.
Forbes added 34 new women to the list, including fashion designer Tory Burch and Judy Faulkner, who created a fast growing health record software.
Though most made the money on their own, a few inherited it through family or divorce.
This is true for Elaine Wynn, who married and divorced casino owner Steve Wynn two times.
The women with the highest fortunes inherited their funds, like Christy and Alice Walton who own Wal-Mart and Susanne Klatten whose father helped BMW out of bankruptcy years ago.
Lilianne Bettencourt, worth $30 billion, inherited her money from the family business, L’Oreal.
Denise York is also a newcomer on the list, at age 62, as she is chairwoman of the San Francisco 49ers.
Female billionaires rose from 104 last year to 138 this year. America has the most, at 50 female billionaires, followed by 35 in Europe and 22 in Asia-Pacific.
There are 961 self-made female billionaires, and 184 inherited their money. There are also 281 female billionaires who inherited their money and are increasing it.
Overall, the billionaires are of varying ages, but only five of the top 50 are under age 50.
Another interesting finding is that most of the people on the list are married, except for 60-year-old Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft.