The Richest Person In Every State

Forbes June 20, 2023


The Richest Person In Every State

Nearly every state in America is now home to at least one billionaire. For the first time since 2019, Forbes scoured the nation to find the richest person in every state and found billionaires living in 47, up from 44 the last time we looked.

There has been plenty of turnover in the past four years, with nearly a third of the country’s 50 states featuring a new face at the top. That includes Texas and Florida, now home to two of the world’s wealthiest political exiles, Elon Musk and Citadel’s Ken Griffin, both of whom claim to have left their former states for more business friendly (not to mention, lower tax) home bases.

Nine members of the list became billionaires over the last four years, including solar manufacturer Array Technologies founder Ron Corio, who is New Mexico’s first billionaire. Alabama, New Hampshire and Vermont also have a billionaire in residence this time around after previously not having one.

The only states still without a billionaire are Alaska, Delaware and West Virginia.

In the case of the latter, recently retired Intuit CEO Brad Smith, who moved back home to become president of Marshall University, tops the state’s governor, Jim Justice, who lost his billionaire status in 2021 due to heavy debts, as the Mountain State’s richest person.

It’s a tough list to make. Just ask Bill Gates, whose $116 billion net worth is still not enough to rank him as the wealthiest resident of Washington. Only five people on the planet are richer than Gates–unfortunately, one of them, Jeff Bezos, lives in the same town. The competition is particularly fierce in the four states with the most billionaires: more than 60% of the 775 billionaires who reside in the U.S. live in California (179), New York (130), Texas (73) and Florida (92).

In all, the 54 people (due to ties) on this year’s list are worth a combined $1.5 trillion–nearly double the record $875 billion in 2019. America’s (and the world’s) richest person Elon Musk (net worth: $230 billion) made the cut, though three of the country’s top ten wealthiest people did not. Like Gates, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ($102 billion) also trailed Bezos ($149 billion) in Washington, while Sergey Brin ($100 billion) was beat out by his Google cofounder Larry Page ($105 billion) in California.

The average age for the richest resident of a U.S. state is 73 years old, with Walmart heir Lukas Walton (36) of Illinois and Maryland-based Annette Lerner (93), the widow of Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner (d. February 2023), bookending the list. Nearly two-thirds of these billionaires and centimillionaires are self-made, while the rest inherited their fortunes, actively expanding them in nearly half of those cases. More than half of them made their money in just four industries: finance & investments (9), fashion & retail (8), food & beverage (6) and technology (6).

Here are the richest residents of each state (net worths are as of June 12):


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