The Richest Men and Women in America, State by State

A new study by Forbes has found that the vast majority of America’s richest are getting richer, year by year and day by day. Bill Gates retains the throne as the world’s wealthiest man, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the second wealthiest. Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg take second and third place as the wealthiest men in each of their individual states, as well as third and fourth in the entire country.

The study highlights several emerging trends. More of the country's wealthiest reside in the West, including Zuckerberg and Gates, who live in California and Washington respectively. Whereas the rich along the East Coast have largely inherited their wealth, West Coast scions are predominantly self-made. The study also found that in states with higher populations, the rich are ultra-rich, whereas those in states with smaller populations have smaller net worths.

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Of the 52 individuals listed in the study, only nine are women, one of whom shares her fortune with her husband (Delaware’s Elizabeth Snyder). The wealthiest woman on the list is Walmart heiress Alice Walton. With a net worth of $38.2 billion, Walton sits seven spots from the top. Along with being the wealthiest woman in Texas and Arkansas, Walton is America’s richest art collector. 

The least wealthy on the list are the families of Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini in Alaska, real-estate partners who have a net worth of just $340 million each. A 2013 article from Forbes indicates the duo are comparatively modest—“[they] don't like anyone knowing how rich they are."

While the majority of the names on this latest list are mainstays, there's at least one newcomer. In 2016, West Virginia’s richest person, Jim Justice II, was elected governor. On August 4, Gov. Justice switched parties from Democrat to Republican, much to the delight of President Trump, who joined him in a rally to celebrate his announcement. 

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But nothing is written in stone. As Forbes observes, “The net worth of anyone in this group can change materially within weeks, or even day.” Just look at Jeff Bezos. As of Thursday, he was the morning’s wealthiest man in the world, and the second wealthiest by the afternoon.


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