The Sideshow

Treasure map: See the wealthiest person in each U.S. state

A map of the wealthiest person in each of the 50 states (Movoto)

A map of the wealthiest person in each of the 50 states (Movoto)

With a personal fortune of more than $80 billion, Washington state’s Bill Gates is not only the richest person in America but also in the entire world. And at $41.4B New York’s David Koch may be the nation’s most divisive billionaire.

But those are just two high-profile examples. The U.S. is home to more billionaires than any other country in the world. So, real estate broker site Movoto has created a cool, interactive map showing exactly who is the richest individual in each of the nation’s 50 states.

The map is an interesting way of looking at wealth across our country, full of fun, intriguing and some surprising results.

For example, Phil Knight may have humble roots, developing his now famous waffle sole shoe swoosh brand in Eugene, Oregon. But he’s now the state’s richest person, valued at more than $19 billion.

And who knew that the descendants of Walmart founder Sam Walton had so richly spread their inheritance that it makes them the wealthiest persons in three states? It’s true; Alice Walton is the richest Texan with $35.3B to her name. Jim Walton rules neighboring Arkansas with his $35.7B and Christy Walton is the richest of the three, setting up her vast $37.9B fortune in Wyoming.

For political junkies, it’s worth noting that two of the states with the highest taxes (California and New York) are also home to two of the nation’s wealthiest individuals (Larry Ellison and Koch). And Alaska, home of the nation’s lowest tax rate is also home to the “poorest” person with the most money in a respective state.

Movoto also put together a second interactive and sobering graphic that shows the disparity between each state’s richest person compared with the income of the average individual in each state.

For example, businessman and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson is worth $35.7B, making him the richest person in Nevada. But the average citizen in Nevada makes $67,452 per year.

According to Forbes, the U.S. is home to 442 of the world’s 1,426 billionaires.

But before you start chanting, “We’re number one!” it’s also worth noting that not every state is home to its own billionaire. Alaska’s Robert Gilliam is the least wealthy person on the list to lead a state’s treasure chest with an estimated personal fortune of $700 million.

And Delaware, home of numerous corporations who take advantage of the state’s low taxes, isn’t actually home to its own billionaire either. The first state’s richest person is Robert Gore, who has a personal wealth estimated at $830 million.

Still, there’s no need to cry over spilled gold bullions. Gilliam’s $700 million is nearly 14,000 times larger than the average U.S. household income of $50,233. Though it still wouldn’t be enough to buy the Los Angeles Clippers.

Follow Eric Pfeiffer on Twitter (@ericpfeiffer)

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