In 2009, the net worth of the top 20 wealthiest fell by 13.8% and there are 3 newcomers to the top 20 group (indicated by an asterisk*). The total worth of the 400 wealthiest in the United States fell by $300 billion to $1.27 trillion. Numbers in [brackets] are countries with the closest approximate GDP.
- William Gates III ($50.0 bil, 53yo, Medina, WA – Microsoft) [Cuba]
- Warren Buffett ($40.0 bil, 79yo, Omaha, NE – Berkshire Hathaway) [Lebanon, Latvia]
- Lawrence Ellison ($27.0 bil, 65yo, Redwood City, CA – Oracle) [Paraguay]
- Christy Walton & family ($21.5 bil, 54yo, Jackson, WY – Wal-Mart inheritance) [Trinidad]
- Jim Walton ($19.6 bil, 61yo, Bentonville, AR – Wal-Mart) [Georgia]
- Alice Walton ($19.3 bil, 60 Fort Worth, TX – Wal-Mart) [Georgia]
- S Robson Walton ($19 bil, 65yo, Bentonville, AR – Wal-Mart) [Dem. Rep. Congo]
- Michael Bloomberg ($17.5 bil, 67yo, New York, NY – Bloomberg) [Mozambique]
- Charles Koch ($16.0 bil, 73yo, Wichita, KS – manufacturing, energy) [Chad]
- David Koch ($16.0 bil, 69yo, New York, NY – manufacturing, energy) [Chad]
- Sergey Brin ($15.3 bil, 36yo Palo Alto, CA – Google) [Haiti]
- Larry Page ($15.3 bil, 36yo San Francisco, CA – Google) [Haiti]
- Michael Dell ($14.5 bil, 44yo, Austin, TX – Dell) [Mauritius]
- Steven Ballmer ($13.3 bil, 53yo, Seattle, WA – Microsoft) [Jamaica]
- George Soros ($13.0 bil, 79yo, Westchester, IL – hedge funds)* [Jamaica]
- Donald Bren ($12.0 bil, 77yo, Newport Beach, CA – real estate) [Benin]
- Paul Allen ($11.5 bil, 56yo, Seattle, WA – Microsoft, investments) [Iceland, Tajikistan]
- Abigail Johnson ($11.5 bil, 47yo, Boston, MA – Fidelity) [Iceland, Tajikistan]
- Forest Edward Mars ($11.0 bil, 78yo, McLean, IL – candy, pet food)* [Iceland, Tajikistan]
- Jacqueline Mars ($11.0 bil, 70yo, Bedminster, NJ – candy, pet food)* [Iceland, Tajikistan]
Net worth of the 20 wealthiest Americans for 2009: $374.3 billion [Belgium]. Net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans for 2009: $1.27 trillion [the GDP of Canada or the combined total GDP of Chile, Ghana, Egypt, Saudi Arabia] or 9% of the $14.15 trillion GDP of the United States.
Check out Teaching Economics as if People Mattered – Born on Third Base for an interesting lesson plan about wealth and the Forbes 400.