Bill Gates tops Forbes US rich list

Whilst the majority of the world's population struggle to make ends meet (to put it mildly), some folk are having no such problems; as Forbes again compiles its Forbes 400 rich list of the most minted in the US, with Microsoft founder Bill Gates finding himself at the top of the rich list with a cool $54 billion.

While there's a wide range of big earners from all industries, high earners in the tech world include Larry Ellison, co-founder of the software giant Oracle, with a massive $27 billion fortune (third place) whilst Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page make it into the list with $15 billion.

The silly amounts of money continue with Michael Dell and Steve Ballmer having recorded earnings of 14 billion and 13.1 billion respectively.

And as a host of private equity deals place Facebook's value at around the 23 billion, Mark Zuckerberg's personal wealth has also increased to $6.9 billion, an increase of around 245 per cent - he's coming in at number 35. Apple's Steve Jobs brings up the rear with $6.1 billion.

So what does all this mean? Well, it shows us that there's some staggeringly wealthy people - something we were probably previously aware of - and that we all enjoy a good rich list, as we console ourselves with how much better we'd be at spending the money; wondering why they don't all just cash up and pack in work.

The main tech earners from the list are as follows:

1. Bill gates - 54 billion

Co- founder of Microsoft, in terms of richness Bill Gates has been hitting the top spot now for 17 consecutive years. He is known as somewhat of a philanthropist, using his Gates Foundation for good causes, however he is still running in second place in terms of money raised for charity - Sir Jimmy Savile pipping him to the top spot.*

*Possibly not the case, but we're sure it's a close run thing.

3. Larry Ellison - 27 billion

A self-made billionaire, Larry Ellison is chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation, a major enterprise software company. As well as enjoying the odd fighter jet Ellison co-owns a $200 million yacht.

11. Larry Page, Sergey Brin - 15 billion

Co-founders of the search giant Google, the two have produced one of the most recognisable brands in the world - however both have seen their personel wealth drop from the 2009 Forbes list.

15. Michael Dell - 14 billion

Founder of the computer giant Dell, Mr Dell sees his personal wealth take a drop from 2009, but we're sure it won't keep him awake at night.

16. Steve Ballmer - 13.1 Billion

CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is known for somewhat eccentric with a good deal of over-the-top behaviour - many of these can be seen on YouTube.

35. Mark Zuckerburg - 6.9 billion

The youngest billionaire in the world, with a net worth of $6.9 billion he has a 24 per cent share of Facebook.

42. Steve Jobs - 6.1 billion

Apple CEO and co-founder, Mr Jobs has a huge fanbase as the company's i-products continue to be a huge hit. Jobs' fortune has increased by 1 billion since 2009.