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:
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:
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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