The combined wealth of Britain's 1,000 richest families and individuals was up 18 per cent to £395.76 billion according to the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List published on May 7th.
The number of billionaires in Britain rose from 53 in 2010 to 73 in 2011, only two short of the record set in 2008.
The Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has been named as the richest man in Britain for the seventh consecutive year despite his fortune falling 22 per cent to £17.5 billion. The Russian Alisher Usmanov, who owns 47 per cent of Russia’s largest iron ore producer Mettaloinvest, is the second richest with his wealth up £7.7 billion to £12.4 billion. The third richest man in Britain is oil magnate Roman Abramovich.
Of the 73 billionaires, 40 are British born, of which the richest is property developer the Duke of Westminster at number four.
A total of 105 women made it to the list, topping 100 for the first time. The richest woman is former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli in a joint entry with husband Ernesto, who made his fortune in pharmaceuticals. Britain's first self-made female billionaire, Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins, 67, was the sixth richest woman. Her and her husband Douglas, 68, have a fortune of £1.15 billion, up 42 per cent on last year.
The Sunday Times Rich List's estimates of people's wealth do not include bank accounts, which are private, or small shareholdings in private equity portfolios. They includes land, property, racehorses, art, and shares in publicly quoted companies. Since they are based on minimum estimates, the true wealth of these families and individuals may be much larger.