Mapping Out the 'Filthy Rich' In Each State

The U.S. is a nation of millionaires and billionaires. Among its population of 323 million people, there are 607 billionaires and 11.8 million individuals with a net worth of at least $1 million. This translates to roughly 3.65% of the country. So who has the most money? That’s the topic of our latest visualization, which highlights the richest person by net worth in each state.

  • According to Forbes, the richest individuals in each state have a combined net worth of $875 billion.
  • The industries represented in this visualization are as varied as finance, technology, consumer goods, real estate, and retail.
  • Forbes calculated that 60% of the richest individuals in each state earned their own fortunes, 21% inherited their money, and 19% became rich by expanding an existing business.
  • Jeff Bezos is not only the richest person in Washington state; he is also the richest person in the world.
  • Even though Bezos is the richest man in the world, his family is not the richest one. The Walton family (of Walmart fame) earns that distinction. In the visualization, Jim Walton and Alice Walton are represented as the richest individuals in their respective states.

The information in this visualization comes from the most recent Forbes ranking of the richest individuals in each state, as of June 2019. The individuals are ranked by their net worth. The visualization above is shaped like a map of the U.S., with each state represented by a picture of the richest person within that state. The person’s name and net worth are listed below their picture, and the source of their wealth is listed above the picture. In addition, the background for each picture is a shade of green, with the darker shades representing higher net worth and the lighter shades representing lower net worth.

Top 10 States with the Highest Net-Worth Individuals

1. Washington: Jeff Bezos & family - $157 billion - Amazon
2. Nebraska: Warren Buffett - $85 billion - Berkshire Hathaway
3. California: Mark Zuckerberg - $71 billion - Facebook
4. New York: Michael Bloomberg - $53.8 billion - Bloomberg LP
5. Arkansas: Jim Walton - $51.1 billion - Walmart
6. Texas: Alice Walton - $50.1 billion - Walmart
7. Kansas: Charles Koch - $42 billion - Koch industries
8. Nevada: Sheldon Adelson - $35.7 billion - Casinos
9. Oregon: Phil Knight & family - $35 billion - Nike
10. Virginia: Jacqueline Mars - $28.1 billion - Candy, pet food

Interestingly, while certain states like California and New York are home to multiple billionaires, other states like Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Vermont only have centimillionaires (people with a net worth of hundreds of millions). As the wealth gap continues to widen and the average S&P 500 CEO makes 287 times what a typical American worker makes, the unequal distribution of wealth will continue to be a hot-button issue, especially for the upcoming election.

Did anyone on this list surprise you? Please let us know what you think in the comments!

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