Women rule in the Hudson Valley. In a world of 7 billion people, the region, with a population of about 2 million, can claim three of the 12 most powerful women in the world.

That's the assessment of Forbes magazine, which has released its annual list of The World's Most Powerful Women.

Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton -- former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state and presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential candidate -- led the Hudson Valley contingent.

Even as a private citizen, the 65-year-old Chappaqua resident, moved down only slightly on the list, from No. 2 in 2012 when she was secretary of state, to No. 5.

Indra Nooyi, the 57-year-old chief executive of Purchase-based PepsiCo, moved up to No. 10 from the 12th slot in 2012. The native of Madras, India, has been taking up the slack in the slumping U.S. soft drink sales through growth in snack foods such as Doritos and Cheetos.

Also inching up on the list was Virginia Rometty, chief executive of IBM Corp., based in Armonk.

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Rometty, 55, went from No. 15 in 2012 to No. 12. The century-old technology company has been struggling to grow chronically flat revenue through initiatives in cloud computing, analytics and artificial intelligence like Watson, the program that defeated human "Jeopardy" contestants.

Two other women on the list with Hudson Valley ties are singer Beyonce Knowles and movie star Angelina Jolie. The 31-year-old Knowles, who owns a home in Scarsdale with husband Jay-Z, climbed 14 spots to No. 17. The 37-year-old Jolie, who spent part of her childhood in Palisades, jumped 29 slots to No. 37.

Though she didn't make the list, Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, appeared on Forbes' list of women to watch.

At the very top of the pack are two women who are heads of state: German Chancellor Angela Merkel followed by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

Third is Melinda Gates, co-chairwoman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and No. 4 is the current first lady, Michelle Obama.

Oprah Winfrey, a perennial Forbes powerhouse, was ranked 13th.

Entertainers Sofia Vergara, Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres were 38th, 45th and 51st.

Author J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series, ranked 93rd.

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One Hudson Valley resident who failed to make the 2013 powerful women list: Martha Stewart of Bedford, who ranked No. 99 in 2010.