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World’s Youngest Billionaires Creep Toward Middle Age

Well, as if the news were gloomy enough for a struggling billionaire, Forbes is reporting that the average age of the the world’s richest individuals has jumped from age 32 to age 35. More, despite that the 20 youngest rich people were under age 36 last year, this year, one is, gasp, 40 — an age when being placed in a “youngest” category of any kind becomes a pleasantly surprising stretch. (Damn you, Ken Griffith of Citadel!)

Then there’s the fall in net worth — and you knew it’d be a doozy. In 2008, the average net worth of billionaires under age 40 was a remarkable $4.1 billion. In 2009, that number dropped 30 percent to a slightly less remarkable $2.9 billion.

Silicon Valley certainly had a hand in pulling those numbers down. Jerry Yang’s fortune was decimated by Yahoo’s protracted battle with Microsoft. Meanwhile, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have each lost $6.5 billion of their massive fortunes over the last 12 months.

Here is the list of the aging (but still comparatively young!) rich in pictures.