Britain has become home for dozens of billionaires with 68 of them born, living or making their money in the UK - a figure that has trebled in the last four years.

According to The Sunday Times Rich List 2007, the richest 1,000 people have also seen their wealth soar by #59 billion in the last 12 months.

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal again tops the list with a fortune put at #19.25 billion, up more than #4 billion on last year. He strengthened his position at the top by acquiring Arcelor, the world's second-largest steel maker behind Mittal Steel.

The combined business, called Arcelor Mittal, produces 115 million tons of steel a year and accounts for 10 per cent of the world market. Mittal is followed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is still at number two despite his fortune remaining the same at an estimated #10.8 billion.

His costly divorce from ex-wife Irina may only have caused a small dent in his coffers, but it also means she is now 452 in the list herself with #155 million.

The Midlands is represented by three billionaires - mobile phone tycoon John Caudwell, property magnate Viscount Portman and

JCB's Sir Anthony Bamford - who were the top three in The Birmingham Post Midlands Rich List published in January.

John Caudwell is 31 in the national list, with a fortune of #1.6 billion after selling his Caudwell Group, including the Phones4U empire - for #1.46 billion. Viscount Portman and his family, who own estates in London, Herefordshire and Australia, have a #1.3 billion fortune and are listed 43rd, while Sir Anthony Bamford and family have a similar fortune and are placed 46th.

Others from the Midlands in the nation's top 1,000 are: Felix Dennis (#750 million); Robert Edmiston (#620 million); Jorgen Philip-Sorensen (#605 million); Sir Peter Rigby (#510 million); Tony Gallagher (#500 million); Don and Roy Richardson (#500 million).

Also among the West Midlands super-rich in yesterday's list are property developers John Cutts and Caspar MacDonald-Hall, each placed at joint 229th nationally with estimated fortunes of #320 million each.

Cutts and his family netted #300 million from the sale of Parkridge Holdings, one of Britain's biggest owners of industrial property, while MacDonald-Hall has about 40 per cent of London & Cambridge Properties with #566 million net assets.

The combined wealth of the richest 1,000 now stands at just under #360 billion, up from #301 billion a year ago.

Many of the billionaires in the UK list are foreigners who have chosen to make Britain their home, possibly for tax reasons.

Only three of the top 10 were born in Britain. Just over 220 of the richest 1,000 have made their money from property, with the Duke of Westminster leading the way at three in the overall list.

His #7 billion fortune is based on "lucrative" property in London's Mayfair and Belgravia, plus estates in Cheshire, Lancashire and Scotland.

The two new faces in this year's top 10 are Islamic art collector David Khalili and businessman Jim Ratcliffe. Khalili, an Iranian Jew now living in London, has helped gain his #5.8 billion fortune by amassing a huge collection of Islamic art. He has jumped from 99 in the list to number five.

Meanwhile Ratcliffe, ranked 10th this year, has made his #3.3 billion fortune by building a business empire dubbed the chemical industry's "answer to Lakshmi Mittal".

His arrival in the top 10 displaces Sir Richard Branson, whose ranking has fallen from from ninth to 11th, despite a fortune of #3.1 billion.

Kate Moss entered the top 100 richest women list with #45 million, and Scotland has its first billionaire in entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter.

1 Lakshmi Mittal (steel) #19,250 million

2 Roman Abramovich (oil and industry) #10,800 million

3 The Duke of Westminster (property) #7,000 million

4 Sri and Gopi Hinduja (industry and finance) #6,200 million

5 David Khalili (art and property) #5,800 million

6 Hans Rausing (packaging) #5,400 million

7 Sir Philip and Lady Green (retailing) #4,900 million

8 John Fredriksen (shipping) #3,500 million

9 David and Simon Reuben (metals and property) #3,490 million

10 Jim Ratcliffe (chemicals) #3,300 million