The lighter side of real estate

This Interactive Map Shows The Wealthiest People In America

In case you've ever wondered who the wealthiest people in America are, we've got the map that will show you each state's biggest spender.

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166 articles, 142 comments

Richest Person in America by State

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America’s elite live vastly different lives than the rest of us. Those at the top have incomes that are orders of magnitude higher than the average person. Even when we compare their individual wealth with that of households in the states in which they live, there’s no comparison.

So how did they get to where they are? Are they all self-made entrepreneurs, or were they just lucky? Do they hoard all that wealth, or do they give back?

How They Got Rich

According to data from Forbes and Celebrity Net Worth, the wealthiest members of each state did not achieve their fortunes in the same way. They are:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Heirs/Heiresses
  • Widows

Earning vs. Inheriting Wealth

Of the wealthiest in each state, roughly half are founders of companies. Another major path to wealth is inheritance, with the Waltons being the most striking example.

Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton blessed his family, making several members the wealthiest in their states:

  • Jim Walton in Arkansas
  • Alice Walton in Texas
  • Christy Walton in Wyoming

Academics May Not Be as Important as We Think

From an undergraduate education to the coveted Ph.D., most members of the list have some sort of college degree. But years spent studying on campus isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to striking it rich. Bill Gates, a college dropout, is the wealthiest of them all.

On the other side of the academic spectrum, Delaware’s Robert Gore holds a Ph.D. but ranks second to last in terms of his net worth.

The Wealth Gap

No matter the source of wealth, or home state, there’s no denying the extreme gap between the mega wealthy and the average American.

Our final visual presents an interactive map which helps to illuminate the huge dichotomy between the mega-wealthy and the average wealth of regions around the country.

List Of The Wealthiest Person By State

Alabama: Marguerite Harbert – $1 Billion

Alaska: Robert Gillam – $700 Million

Arizona: Bruce Halle – $4.8 Billion

Arkansas: Jim Walton – $35.7 Billion

California: Larry Ellison – $49.4 Billion

Colorado: Charles Ergen – $15 Billion

Connecticut: Ray Dalio – $14.4 Billion

Delaware: Robert Gore – $830 Million

Florida: Charles Johnson – $8.1 Billion

Georgia: Anne Cox Chambers – $16.1 Billion

Hawaii: Pierre Omidyar – $7.9 Billion

Idaho: Frank VanderSloot – $1.2 Billion

Illinois: Ken Griffin – $5.5 Billion

Indiana: Gayle Cook – $6 Billion

Iowa: Harry Stine – $3.1 Billion

Kansas: Charles Koch – $41.4 Billion

Kentucky: Bradley Hughes – $2.3 Billion

Louisiana: Tom Benson – $1.5 Billion

Maine: Leon Gorman – $860 Million

Maryland: Ted Lerner – $4.6 Billion

Massachusetts: Abigail Johnson – $18.2 Billion

Michigan: Hank & Doug Meijer – $7.9 Billion

Minnesota: Whitney MacMillan – $5.3 Billion

Mississippi: Leslie Lampton – $2.4 Billion

Missouri: Jack Taylor – $13.5 Billion

Montana: Dennis Washington – $6.1 Billion

Nebraska: Warren Buffett – $63.1 Billion

Nevada: Sheldon Adelson – $35.7 Billion

New Hampshire: Rick Cohen – $11.2 Billion

New Jersey: David Tepper – $10 Billion

New Mexico: Maloof Brothers – $1 Billion

New York: David Koch – $41.4 Billion

North Carolina: James Goodnight – $8.1 Billion

North Dakota: Gary Theraldson – $900 Million

Ohio: Leslie Wexner – $5.7 Billion

Oklahoma: Harold Hamm – $19.7 Billion

Oregon: Phil Knight – $19 Billion

Pennsylvania: Mary Alice Dorace Malone – $3 Billion

Rhode Island: Jonathan Nelson – $1.8 Billion

South Carolina: Anita Zucker – $2.7 Billion

South Dakota: T. Denny Sanford – $1.3 Billion

Tennessee: Thomas Frist – $6.9 Billion

Texas: Alice Walton – $35.3 Billion

Utah: Jon Huntsman, Sr. – $1.2 Billion

Vermont: John Abele – $3.3 Billion

Virginia: Jacqueline Mars – $20 Billion

Washington: Bill Gates – $80 Billion

West Virginia: Jim Justice – $1.6 Billion

Wisconsin: John Menard – $7.7 Billion

Wyoming: Christy Walton – $36.7 Billion

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posted on: July 23, 2014
1,833,629 views, 44 comments


  1. Emilie

    What is your source for this data?

  2. Justine

    What is going on with the panhandle of West Virginia? It is the same color as the Chesapeake Bay. Is it now a body of water?

    The color of Hawaii doesn’t seem to agree to the key. It appears to be much darker than it should be for where it is on the scale. In general, the red gradient is not easy to interpret as it is not a smooth consistent transition.

  3. Rin

    Who is the richest in MD? Not very clear. Is it Lerner? I thought he was from DC>

  4. Adam

    Where is Michael Bloomberg?

  5. Billy Pollina

    Surely you realize that Celebrity Net Worth is inflated at best and totally unreliable at worst.

  6. Randi Hammor

    Either the color or the number is wrong for Missouri. It says 12.8 billion but had the color closer to millions.

  7. Ray Parsley

    America will never be the same as when it first started because back then everyone worked for a living and very little they could save. Today we are much smarter and manage more efficient than then but they gave us that chance to succeed. Fraud and learning how to steal legally which exempts many people from breaking the law on their way to become wealthy. All the extreme wealthy will soon begin to die off and then their wealth will be divided into many share holders. It will find its own level but here is the one thing that may destroy all this wealth and that is nuclear war or a world wide catastrophic event. We must find a great awakening with the civilized world and return back to the God who gave us this chance to become his people.

  8. Brenda

    Some of this data is woefully out of date. Dr. Thomas Frist is shown as the wealthiest in TN, but he passed away in 1998.

  9. laura raymond


  10. Michael

    Why is the richest person in Texas from Arkansas?

  11. Rick

    Your data needs to be vetted more carefully. According to your map. Thomas Frist is the richest person in Tennessee. That’s pretty impressive for someone who’s been dead since 1998.

  12. kathleen a mchale

    8/2/2014 I think the wealthy usa chart is interesting,why these people end up rich,i’ll never know.i’m skeptical about businesses making us wealthy and famous[ex wal mart,kmart,others]hard work and sensible spending habits,business savy[education,business degree’s] are probably part of the answer.i,personally am happy with welfare,governmet help,although a lot of people are happy without the government and only have to contend with taxes and local laws and ordinances[ex.constructing a business,building kmart or zoneing laws for new businesses,other costs.i only have a hs degree[st.francis desales Geneva ny a roman catholice convent school and went to a state college for nurseing,finished one year of a 2 year program…]but some peonle have degree’s in business and know what they are doing.kathleen McHale Geneva ny

  13. Cynthia Hintz

    I would like to know their political affiliation.

  14. Bob

    I’m Canadian..your country is a joke.

  15. Bob

    The colours employed on this map should reflect the ethnicity of the person…haha. White out..haha..yessss…

  16. El Junior

    Adam – Bloomberg is worth c $20bn. David Koch is worth more, $40bn.

  17. Mike

    It appears that that either you or your sources are using some very old data. For the state of Tennessee you have listed Thomas Frist, with the picture and link for the wikipedia profile of Thomas Frist Senior who has been deceased since 1998.

  18. mike

    my story: 73 yo. 2nd generation Slovenian-American, father, a machinist in a shop. mother just a mother. I lived in a project til age 14. Gov. schools until collage, Sold ice cream on a truck the summer for 6 yrs to pay for collage, worked at campus jobs for 35 cents/hr. went to med school. NO scholarships, 5 yrs. surgical training working ON 36 hrs, OFF 12 hrs for 5 yrs. Got divorced during this time (I wonder why), Army surgeon for 2 yrs. private practice for 35 yrs. and now I’m a millionare X 4. Multiple Sclerosis since 1967. 7 cardiac stents, one heart attack. that’s how I did it,

  19. Rick B

    Wanna know how to be wealthy ? , choose your parents very carefully.

  20. jose gonzales

    I didn’t see the koch brothers listed. According to Forbes they each are more wealthy than Alice Walton. I assume they are in Texas, but I still don’t see them in any state.

  21. Ruby mclean

    Worked hard for 48yrs, from fields, factories and so on, all I want is 100 grand to retire, that will do it, just 100 grand.

  22. farzad

    Thomas F. Frist,was died in 1998, richest man in Tennessee?

  23. Tamale Moses

    Do these wealthy people donate to charity and if so can they donate to some of our charities ?
    I know they are very busy but they still have a duty to educate the world about how to live a confirtible life.
    Let them give us some concepts and we disemminate the concept to the world.
    We request for their contacts


  24. joe

    First I don’t know where some of you get your numbers. The tax rate for the working class is 20%. It’s really just that simple. I paid 20% of my hard earned income in Federal Tax. The tax rate of the wealthy is on average 17%. I don’t know what law allows it, I can’t go find it but the numbers don’t lie. Do the rich pay more money sure they do. But relative to income the poor and middle class pay a higher tax rate. Thats just not right or fair and go ahead and defend that if you choose but if you do you are part of the problem. Every individual American should have the same tax rate. I don’t support a flat tax for corporations but I certainly support an individual flat tax. I think a flat tax of 20% should be applied to all individual tax returns. Most corporations are taxed higher as they should be. But individual tax rates should be the same across the board. Good Day.

  25. Ray Martin

    The Change in color comes after 1-15 Billion.

  26. Torice

    We can see the inequality and effects of slavery in the USA. There is not one black person, Asian, etc on this list. Half of the men and women on the list got wealthy through inheritance. This means it’s a myth that all you have to do is work hard and you can success in America. Most of the other half got rich through desegregation through receiving black dollars after the shut down of black businesses. If we were segregated blacks would not have spent their money at their businesses thus it would be black people on the list.

  27. tom smith

    Wages are based on supply and demand, even the most evil owner/employer can not pay low wages if there is no one who will work for that wage. The primary reason workers in this country make less money today than 40 years ago is the illegal importation of Mexican and south American citizens by the American government. These people will work for minimum wage,or less under the table. If 30-40 million of these people were deported there would be no need for a minimum wage law ,supply and demand would take over and minimum wage would be what the market would bear possibly 15-20 dollars per hr. You are attacking the wrong people. Corrupt politicians are at the root of this problem.

  28. Bassey Nya


  29. Robster

    Looks like education really doesn’t matter. These people can’t get a color chart to match a defined key.

  30. Gary

    Bloomberg is out making commercials to work up the useful idiots emotions in his quest to take American’s right to self defense.

  31. John R

    Why are you including dead people? Thomas Frist in Tennessee died over 15 years ago. Might as well put Howard Hughes or Andrew Carnegie on the map too.

  32. Drew

    Here’s the deal, name one wealthy person living freely?
    Answer: “not one”
    Reason: “due to the enormous wealth, they also become potential targets”. As the media lets out their secrets, they also maintain security guards wherever they travel.
    Talk about envying imprisoned individuals, no thanks, I’ll live my poor life of a few $ million in retirement.
    My suggestion, work hard like they did, and enjoy your retirement when you get there, but without Barack Obama and his Obots.

  33. Lisa

    For Mississippi, you have the wrong photo. Leslie B. Lampton has four sons, all of whom run Ergon companies/divisions. That picture is of Leslie B. Lampton’s oldest son (and namesake) and his wife Deborah. Lampton senior is in his seventies or eighties.

  34. Egg

    Love all the facebook comments saying all you need is hard work and low taxes. I guess that may work… if you’re white. No people of color on the map at all, and only a handful of women.

  35. Drew

    Egg, when you focus on why you can’t succeed – then you do lose your opportunity.
    On the flip side, most NBA players are black and very wealthy. :)

  36. Spence

    Tommy Frist Jr. Is alive, well, and one of the greatest philanthropists of this fine state. Shook his hand last month at a United Way event.

  37. annie1948

    I’d be interested in seeing how many are republicans or democrats.

  38. Sam

    Joe, do,some research. The wealthy have the highest tax rates and it is 40%. The 17% you claim they pay is the avg tax rate after business losses, depreciation, all other losses. What that means is we have invested money into the economy without a return on investment. Therefore we have losses and are able to use them against our normal 40% tax rate. They are putting money into the economy that creates jobs, real estate construction, creating sales tax, income tax, etc etc. So they pay more % in just a different way! that is much better than giving it all to the govt.

  39. Gary Humphrey

    I AGREE WITH Tom Smith! They all need to be deported back to their home country! There they can use their resources & lower the demand here for fuel they using here!

  40. Alexander I Shaskevich

    Maloof Brothers no longer live in NM. So why put them as New Mexico Residents?

  41. David States

    Would be interesting to see a map of networth by zip code or perhaps total property value by zip code. Wealth concentration is much greater than state level mapping suggests.

  42. Tom M

    Wouldn’t it be great if one or several of these people with the same views as the DONALD, joined him and cleaned up this country. Something needs to happen, maybe this is the answer. It sure wouldn’t be worse than it is.

  43. phillip lukomwa

    they should invast money and develop the world


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