(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.