20 Richest People in the United States in 2008

(ref: Forbes 400, forbes.com. GDP data from indexmundi.com based on 2008 CIA Factbook)

NOTE: This is the 2008 list. For 2009, please check out 20 Richest People in the United States in 2009.

For the second year in a row, the price of admission to The Forbes 400 is $1.3 billion. The net worth of America’s 400 wealthiest rose by $30 billion to $1.57 trillion. Numbers in [brackets] are countries with the closest approximate GDP.

  1. William Gates III ($57.0 bil, 52yo, Medina, WA – Microsoft) [Kenya, Quatar]
  2. Warren Buffett ($50.0 bil, 78yo, Omaha, NE – Berkshire Hathaway) [Cuba]
  3. Lawrence Ellison ($27.0 bil, 64yo, Redwood City, CA – Oracle) [Paraguay]
  4. Jim Walton ($23.4 bil, 60yo, Bentonville, AR – Wal-Mart) [Trinidad]
  5. S Robson Walton ($23.3 bil, 64yo, Bentonville, AR – Wal-Mart) [Trinidad]
  6. Alice Walton ($23.2 bil, 59 Fort Worth, TX – Wal-Mart) [Trinidad]
  7. Christy Walton & family ($23.2 bil, 53yo, Jackson, WY – Wal-Mart inheritance) [Trinidad]
  8. Michael Bloomberg ($20.0 bil, 66yo, New York, NY – Bloomberg) [Madagascar]
  9. Charles Koch ($19.0 bil, 72yo, Wichita, KS – manufacturing, energy) [Dem. Rep. Congo]
  10. David Koch ($19.0 bil, 68yo, New York, NY – manufacturing, energy) [Dem. Rep. Congo]
  11. Michael Dell ($17.3 bil, 43yo, Austin, TX – Dell) [Yugoslav]
  12. Paul Allen ($16.0 bil, 55yo, Seattle, WA – Microsoft, investments) [Chad]
  13. Sergey Brin ($15.9 bil, 35yo Palo Alto, CA – Google) [Zambia]
  14. Larry Page ($15.8 bil, 35yo San Francisco, CA – Google) [Haiti]
  15. Sheldon Adelson ($15.0 bil, 75yo, Las Vegas, NV – casinos, hotels) [Mauritius]
  16. Steven Ballmer ($15.0 bil, 52yo, Hunts Point, WA – Microsoft) [Mauritius]
  17. Abigail Johnson ($15.0 bil, 46yo, Boston, MA – Fidelity) [Mauritius]
  18. Jack Taylor & family ($14.0 bil, 86yo, St Louis, MO – Enterprise Rent-A-Car) [Rep. Congo]
  19. Anne Cox Chambers ($13.0 bil, 88yo, Atlanta, GA – Cox Enterprises) [Jamaica]
  20. Donald Bren ($12.0 bil, 76yo, Newport Beach, CA – real estate) [Iceland]

Net worth of the 20 wealthiest Americans for 2008: $434.1 billion [Egypt]

Net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans for 2008: $1.57 trillion [combined total GDP of Chile, Venezuela, Egypt, Saudi Arabia] or 12% of the 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.

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