NEW YORK (Web Desk) – Viladimir Putin has been named the world’s most powerful person by Forbes magazine for the third year in a row.
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The Russian President was followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who moved up three spots from last year to replace US President Barack Obama at number two.
With Obama dropping down to third place, this is the first year a sitting US President has not made it into the top two on the list.
Pope Francis retained his place at number four from last year, ahead of Chinese leader Xi Jinping at number five, who fell two spots from last year.
Also in the top ten are Bill Gates, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Alphabet CEO Larry Page in spots six to ten.
Narendra Modi moved up six places and made it into the top ten for the first time, while European Central Bank President Mario Draghi just missed the cut-off and was named as number 11.
The Forbes Most Powerful People list is made up of 73 people – one person for every 100 million on the planet – and is published in November every year.
Several factors were taken into account to select the 73: the amount of money they control, the number of people they impact, their total spheres of influence, and how actively they wield their power.
Notable names outside of the top ten include US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who returned to the list at No 58 after being placed at No. 16 in 2011 and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who at 31 is the youngest on the list.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at No 49 is the biggest upward mover, up 22 spots from 2014.
Money clearly matters, and thirty-eight per cent of Forbes Most Powerful – 28 of the 73 – are billionaires.
North America is over-represented on the list, with 30 hailing from the United States.
Eight are from China, four each from Japan and Russia, France, India and China are represented by three each, while David Cameron is the only British name on the list.
Nine out of the 73 are women, the same number as last year, with Hillary Clinton replacing Gina Rinehart, who fell off the list this year.