In 2023, the wealth landscape across the United States presents an intriguing picture. The presence of billionaires is nearly ubiquitous, with Forbes’ latest roundup of the wealthiest individuals highlighting that almost every state boasts at least one resident billionaire. However, three states buck this trend, lacking any ten-figure fortunes.
States Without Billionaires: An Economic Anomaly
Alaska, Delaware, and West Virginia currently do not have any billionaire residents, setting them apart from the broader national trend. Particularly notable is West Virginia’s shift from wealth to want, attributed to former billionaire Gov. Jim Justice’s financial decline amidst crippling debts incurred two years prior.
In stark contrast, states like California, Florida, New York, and Texas are teeming with ultra-rich residents. These states lead the billionaire count with 179, 130, 92, and 73 billionaires, respectively. Texas, moreover, claims a unique distinction: it is the domicile of Elon Musk, currently the wealthiest person globally with a staggering net worth of $230 billion.
The Faces of American Wealth: Age, Gender, and Influence
Wealth in America is diverse in geography and spans generations and industries. The youngest billionaire, 36-year-old Lukas Walton of Illinois, inherited his fortune from the family behind the retail giant Walmart. Conversely, the title of the oldest billionaire goes to 93-year-old Annette Lerner of Maryland, a real estate magnate and widow of Washington Nationals’ owner Ted Lerner.
While these individuals mark the age extremes of American billionaires, women also feature prominently, though they are fewer in number. Among the nine women on the list, Jacqueline Mars of Virginia, heiress to the Mars candy empire, is the richest.
Surprisingly, several prominent names miss out on the top spots in their states, with Bill Gates’ substantial $116 billion fortune overshadowed in Washington by Jeff Bezos. Similarly, despite amassing $98 billion, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t clinch the top position in California, outstripped by Larry Page’s $105 billion net worth. These exclusions underline the extreme wealth concentration in certain regions and the fierce ‘competition’ even within the upper echelons of wealth.