The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a two-sided economy. On one hand, there are high levels of unemployment, record business closures and evidence of financial decline. But on the other, the stock market is setting record highs, tech companies are thriving, and wealth inequality is accelerating. Our latest map of the richest billionaire in every state for 2021 provides a snapshot of this second economy.
- Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is the richest person in the U.S., with a net worth topping $193.8B.
- Elon Musk rapidly rose through the ranks, coming in at $191.8B thanks to a meteoric rise in the share price of his company, Tesla.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated wealth inequality in the U.S., with the richest billionaires, especially the ones leading tech companies like Mark Zuckerberg ($101.3B), seeing their fortunes explode to new heights.
- Only a handful of states don’t have billionaires residents, including Alabama, New Hampshire and New Mexico.
We found the data for our visualization thanks to the Real Time Billionaire tracker at Forbes. We color-coded each state according to the relative size of the richest billionaire’s fortune, leaving the ones without any billionaire citizens gray. We also added a picture, creating a handy snapshot of the wealthiest individuals across the country.
Top 10 Richest Billionaires in the U.S. by State
|Michael Bloomberg||NEW YORK||$54.9|
|Phil Knight and family||OREGON||$51.7|
Our map demonstrates how the wealthiest individuals in every state across the country aren’t just rich, they are absurdly wealthy. Jeff Bezos personally controls more wealth than the entire annual GDP of Qatar ($193.8B vs. $175.8B). Taken collectively, our map visualizes some $1.16T which is a lot more than the entire economic output of Saudi Arabia ($793B). Only a handful of small states aren’t home to a billionaire, like Alabama, New Hampshire and New Mexico. But our map also shows how the richest people predominantly remain white men. There are a handful of billionaire women such as Abigail Johnson (MA, $15B), Susan Alfond (ME, $1.9B) and Gail Miller (UT, $1.9B).
There are a couple things to keep in mind about our map. Sheldon Adelson, the famous casino magnet and political donor, is not on the list because he recently passed away. The numbers are also rapidly changing year by year and even day by day. For example, Elon Musk added some $140B to his net worth in 2020 alone, vaulting into second place on our list. Jeff Bezos likewise added $72B. That’s because a lot of billionaires derive their net worth to a great extent from the value of the shares in the companies they founded. Mark Zuckerberg personally owns over 28% of all Facebook’s stock, which explains almost all of his net worth. This means that underlying numbers showing just how wealthy these billionaires are are changing all the time.
One thing most of the people featured in our visualization have in common is that they originally got their start in a small business. If you are chasing your dream and interested in taking out a loan for a new venture, check out our small business loan guide and loan calculator to get started today.