The nation’s wealthiest people are overrepresented in the West.

Of the 10 states with the highest number of Forbes 400 billionaires, per capita, four are in the West while two each are in the Midwest, South or Northeast. With five billionaires among its roughly 580,000 residents, Wyoming is far and away home to the highest concentration of billionaires on the Forbes  list. Montana is next, with four of the Forbes billionaires out of roughly one million residents. While far more billionaires live in New York, Connecticut and California, those states also have larger populations, earning them the third, fourth and fifth spots on the ranking of per capita Forbes 400 billionaires.

(This is not the same as billionaires per capita. As Forbes explains, an individual needed to be worth $1.55 billion to even qualify among the top 400. There were 113 U.S. billionaires left off of its list in limiting the ranking to the top 400. )

In absolute terms, the five states that are home to the most Forbes 400 billionaires are also the five most populous states. California tops both lists, as displayed in the map above. New York has the second-most billionaires and third-largest population, while the situation is reversed in Texas. Florida and Louisiana rank fourth and fifth, respectively, on each list. By city of residents, New York tops the list, as displayed in the chart below.

As the chart below shows, the most commonly cited source for the nation’s wealthiest billionaires, at least as categorized by Forbes, were hedge funds. Investments, real estate, private equity and hotels and investments were the next top sources of wealth. But when the amount of wealth generated is considered—not just the number of times a source is cited as a billionaire’s wealth—Wal-Mart is the top source of wealth for the Forbes 400, generating nearly $154 billion for six members of the list. Hedge funds created $147 billion of wealth for billionaires on the list.

The map below attempts to normalize the number of Forbes 400 billionaires in each state as a share of its population. By this metric, of course, the presence of a single billionaire can drastically skew the value. And with 113 billionaires failing to make the cut, the ranking only shows which states have the highest or lowest Forbes 400 billionaires per million residents.
California, New York and Texas were home to the most Forbes 400 wealth, followed by Washington and Florida, as the map below shows. Total-wealth