The Richest Person in Every U.S. State this year


The Richest Person in Every U.S. State in 2017

The massive empires of business tycoons like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos are continually topics of discussion throughout the world, but much less attention finds its way towards the largest personal fortunes at the state level.

That’s because while some of the wealthiest people in their respective states are household names, such as Ray Dalio (Connecticut) or Michael Bloomberg (New York), the majority of people on this list fly below the radar at both the national and international levels. Further, the dropoff from the largest to smallest fortunes on the list is also steeper than you might think.

Examining the Top 10 States

Today’s visualization, which shows the richest person in every U.S. state in 2017, comes from cost information site while using the latest information from Forbes.

Here’s how the list of the top 10 states round out:

Rank Person State Fortune Source
#1 Bill Gates Washington $88.9B Self-made
#2 Warren Buffett Nebraska $76.2B Self-made
#3 Mark Zuckerberg California $62.4B Self-made
#4 Michael Bloomberg New York $50.7B Self-made
#5 Charles Koch Kansas $47.5B Inherited & Growing
#6 Jim Walton Arkansas $38.5B Inherited
#7 Alice Walton Texas $38.2B Inherited
#8 Sheldon Adelson Nevada $35.6B Self-made
#9 John Mars Wyoming $27.6B Inherited
#10 Jacqueline Mars Virginia $27.6B Inherited

While their fortunes don’t quite compare to the richest people in human history, the numbers above are still very impressive.

The list is topped by Bill Gates, who was briefly overtaken as richest person in the world by fellow Seattleite Jeff Bezos for a short period of time in July, but now again sits in the #1 position. Not surprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg (California) and Michael Bloomberg (New York) also sit high, outranking other high net worth individuals from those states like Larry Ellison ($62.2 billion) or George Soros ($25.2 billion).

The list is dominated by those who are self-made or growing their fortunes, but the second half has billionaire siblings that inherited their family fortunes such as Jim and Alice Walton (Walmart), or John and Jacqueline Mars (Mars).

Flying Under the Radar

In some ways, the bottom portion of the rankings for the Richest Person in Every U.S. State is just as interesting. Many of these people are lesser known, and the disparity between these fortunes and those on the Top 10 list show how hard it really is to grow a fortune to the >$20 billion range.

Rank Person State Fortune Source
#41 Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli New Hampshire $1.1B Inherited
#42 Gary Tharaldson North Dakota $900M Self-made
#43 Leslie Lampton Mississippi $760M Self-made
#44 (t) Robert Gore Delaware $720M Inherited & Growing
#44 (t) Elizabeth Snyder Delaware $720M Inherited & Growing
#46 (t) Mack C. Chase New Mexico $700M Self-made
#46 (t) Jimmy Rane Alabama $700M Self-made
#48 John Abele Vermont $625M Self-made
#49 (t) Leonard Hyde Alaska $340M Self-made
#49 (t) Jonathan Rubini Alaska $340M Self-made

Just one person in the Bottom 10 is a billionaire – the rest have fortunes in the hundreds of millions.

The sources of the fortunes near the end of the list are also quite diverse. Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder (and their four other siblings) were the heirs to the Gore-Tex empire, each owning 7% of the company. Meanwhile, Mack C. Chase is an oil tycoon, John Abele has made his money from making medical devices, and Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini are partners in a real estate firm that owns much of the Anchorage skyline.

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