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Political Economy
Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 09/22/2011

Forbes’ richest Americans list: Who made the cut?


Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates tops this year’s Forbes list of wealthiest Americans. (Steven Senne - AP)

Evidence is mounting that even as the U.S. economy continues to struggle, America’s wealthiest individuals are getting richer, pulling further away from the middle class than ever before.

This year’s edition of Forbes’ list of the 400 richest people in America is yet another example of this widening income gap. Forbes reports that the combined wealth of all the individuals on their list is up 12 percent for the year as of August 26th.

So who made the cut? Here’s a look at the Top 10:

1. Bill Gates, net worth $59 billion

2. Warren Buffett, net worth $39 billion

3. Larry Ellison, net worth $33 billion

4. (tie) Charles Koch and David Koch, net worth $25 billion

6. Christy Walton, net worth $24.5 billion

7. George Soros, net worth $22 billion

8. Sheldon Adelson, net worth $21.5 billion

9. Jim Walton, net worth $21.1 billion

10. Alice Walton, net worth $20.9 billion

All told, Forbes says that total wealth of the 400 Americans on the list is $1.53 trillion dollars, an amount that rivals the GDP of Canada.

Much of the list was not terribly surprising. Gates, for instance, has held the top spot for 18 years. However, there were some shake-ups. George Soros (No. 7, $22 billion) broke into the top 10 for the first time, while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (No. 14 on the list) gained more wealth than any other person on the list. His net worth was $17.5 billion, up $10.6 billion from last year’s list.

Despite the enormous wealth that abounds in the D.C. metro area, only a few residents of the region cracked the list. Jacqueline Mars of The Plains, Va. is a part-owner of the candy company that bears her last name. Forbes estimates the 71-year-old is worth $13.8 billion. She comes in at number 20. Other locals who made the list’s top 200 include brothers Mitchell and Steven Rales of the manufacturing firm Danaher and Carlyle Group co-founders William Conway and Daniel D’Aniello.

The full list is available here.

Related content:

Special report: Breakaway Wealth

Capital gains tax policy fuels gap between rich and poor

Highest paid executives in the D.C. area

By  |  10:30 AM ET, 09/22/2011

 
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