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World's 10 Most Powerful People

The World's Most Powerful People

There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. There are 68 who matter to us.

We are fascinated by power. We stand in awe of those who apply it adroitly—and in fear of those who abuse it. We lust for power. Everyone would rather be a hammer than a nail.

The people on this list were chosen ¬because, in various ways, they bend the world to their will. They are heads of state, major religious figures, entrepreneurs and outlaws. Comparing the relative power of such a diverse group is slippery business. To do it, Forbes defined power in four dimensions. First, they asked if a person has influence over a lot of people? For heads-of-state they looked at population, for religious figures they measured the size of their flocks, for CEOs they counted their employees and for media figures Forbes considered the size of their audience.

Second, Forbes checked to see if these figures have significant financial resources relative to their peers. Then it was determined if they were powerful in multiple spheres, awarding bonus points for those who can project their power many ways. Finally Forbes insisted that they actively wield their power.

Read on to see the Top 10 Most Powerful People in the World, or click here to see the full list on Forbes.com.

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