Issues & Insights

An Animated Chart Of America’s 10 Richest People Since 1990

Over the past three decades, we’ve seen some of the richest people in America get even richer.

People like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos have used their business and investing acumen to see their net worth climb to all-time highs. 

And so on my personal finance website Credit Takeoff, I decided to crunch the numbers and using data from Forbes Magazine, I created a data visualization of the richest Americans from the past 30 years.

Here are some interesting highlights that we pulled out of the data.

  • From 1990-2019, Bill Gates has been America’s richest person 25 times, including an astonishing 24-year run from 1994-2017 (when he was finally surpassed by Jeff Bezos).
  • Warren Buffett has ranked inside the Top 5 richest Americans every single year except for one (1991), and he’s been a 2nd-place finisher behind Gates 20 different years.
  • If Sam Walton—the founder of Walmart—had been alive for the past 30 years, he likely would have topped the Forbes 400 list every single year (instead he divided his wealth amongst his wife and 4 children).
  • In 1990, the Top 10 richest Americans had a combined wealth of $29.8 billion, a figure that, if it were a single person, would not have cracked the Top 10 list in 2019. And in 2019, the combined wealth of America’s 10 richest people was $708.6 billion, a near 25x increase from 30 years ago.

You can find the full article here.

Mike Pearson is the founder and managing editor of Credit Takeoff.

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Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

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