The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, has a net worth of about $110 billion, the list, updated Friday, shows.
Gates was the wealthiest person in the world for more than 24 years but hasn't held the top spot in more than two years. Microsoft shares are up about 47 percent this year, boosting Gates' stake in the company and net worth.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now second on the list, with a net worth of $108.7 billion. His ex-wife, Mackenzie Bezos, kept 25 percent of the couple's stake in Amazon when the they divorced this summer. Jeff Bezos retained a 12 percent controlling stake in the company and Mackenzie Bezos has a 4 percent.
Earlier this month Gates questioned a wealth tax proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. Both Sens. Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have released plans to increase taxes on the wealthy if elected president.
At the end of October Microsoft beat out Amazon for a highly contested Pentagon contract to provide cloud computing services for the military.
Rounding out the list of the Top 10 wealthiest people in the world were Bernard Arnault ($103 billion), Warren Buffett ($86.6 billion), Mark Zuckerberg ($74.5 billion), Amancio Ortega ($67.6 billion), Larry Page ($64.3 billion), Sergey Brin ($62.4 billion), Charles Koch ($61.7 billion) and Julia Flesher Koch ($61.7 billion).