Angela Merkel tops power list for fifth year

Angela Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world in the annual Forbes’ 100 list for the fifth year in a row.

The formidable trio of global powerbrokers and international influencers, Ms Merkel, US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and philanthropist Melinda Gates sit at the top of the list.

At 89 years of age the Queen, who has dropped from number 35 last year, is the oldest person in the rankings while 25-year-old Grammy-award winning singer Taylor Swift, at number 64, is the youngest.

There are 15 billionaires with a net worth of $73.3bn (€67.36bn) which does not include Melinda Gates, 24 chief executives and 19 newcomers in this year’s power list.

The eight heads of state, including Ms Merkel, and one monarch on the list govern nations with a combined GDP of $9.1trn (€8.36 trn).

This year’s power women have a combined social media footprint that includes 474 million Twitter and YouTube followers.

Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign policy chief, is highest new entry at 36, followed by Polish Prime minister Ewa Kopacz at 40.

Among such powerful company, which includes US First Lady Michelle Obama at 10, media mogul Oprah Winfrey at number 12, singer Beyonce at 21, actress and human rights acitvist Angelina Jolie at 54, Google executive Ruth Porat at 32 and Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirlea at 96, there is no place for Lady Gaga and supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Burma’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who became an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression, is another notable figure who has dropped off the list.

These are the most influential women whose power bases is founded on them being billionaires or involved in the worlds of business, finance, celebrity/entertainment, media, politics, philanthropists, non governmental organisations and technology, according to Forbes.

Money, media, impact and spheres of influence were used by the Fobes panel to pick the 100.

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