The Forbes 400
or 400 Richest Americans
(first published in 1982) is a list published by Forbes Magazine
magazine of the wealth
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...
iest 400 American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
s, ranked by net worth
In business, net worth is the total assets minus total outside liabilities of an individual or a company. For a company, this is called shareholders' preference and may be referred to as book value. Net worth is stated as at a particular year in time...
. The list is published annually in September, and 2010 marks the 29th issue. The 400 was started by Malcom Forbes in 1982 and treats those in the list like celebrities. Peter W. Bernstein and Annalyn Swan describe the Forbes 400 as capturing "a period of extraordinary individual and entrepreneurial energy, a time unlike the extended postwar years, from 1945 to 1982, when American society emphasized the power of corporations." Bernstein and Swan also describe it as representing "a powerful argument - and sometimes a dream - about the social value of wealth in contemporary America." The Forbes 400 reports who dominates the wealth in America. They annually create a list of the richest people in America to exhibit the shape of the economy. The magazine displays the story of someone's rise to fame, their company, age, industrial residence, and education. The list portrays the financial shift of trends, leadership positions, and growing philanthropy intentions.
In the first Forbes 400 list, there were only 13 billionaires, and as little as $75 Million secured you a spot on the list. The 1982 list represented 2.8% of the Gross Domestic Product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....
of the United States. The 1982 Forbes 400 had 22.8% of the list composed of oil fortunes, with 15.3% from manufacturing, 9% from finance and only 3% from technology driven fortunes. The state of New York had the most representation on the list with 77 members followed by California with 48.
In the year 2000, Forbes 400 saw the highest percent of the Gross Domestic Product represented by the list at 12.2% driven by the internet boom.
Over the first 25 years of the Forbes 400 list, 1,302 different people made the list. 97 immigrants and 202 women (15.5%) made the list in that time. 4 of the top 5 richest people in America in 2006 were college dropouts: Bill Gates, Sheldon Adelson, Larry Ellison, and Paul Allen.
In 2010, the combined wealth of the 400 was $1.37 trillion, up from $1.27 trillion in 2009 but still below the total in 2008 ($1.57 trillion) and 2007 ($1.54 trillion). The minimum to make the list in 2010 was once again back to $1 billion. It had fallen below $1 billion in 2009 for the first time since 2006.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates
William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen...
is the richest man in America, ranking number one on the 400 list for the 17th year in a row. Gates has been on the list since 1986. There were 16 new members on the list in 2010 and 18 returnees, including William Ford Sr. The oldest member on the list is David Rockefeller
David Rockefeller, Sr. is the current patriarch of the Rockefeller family. He is the youngest and only surviving child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and the only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. His five siblings were...
Sr. (#153), age 95. The youngest member is Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz is an American internet entrepreneur who co-founded the social networking website Facebook along with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. Moskovitz owns a 6% share of Facebook. He is also a co-founder and the CEO of Asana. Moskovitz is Jewish...
(#290), age 26, who is 8 days younger than Facebook cofounder and former roommate Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known for co-creating the social networking site Facebook, of which he is chief executive and president...
There are 42 women on the Forbes 400 in 2010, with a combined net wealth of $154 billion. California has the most Forbes 400 members, with 83, followed by New York (64), Texas (45) and Florida (26).
The 2010 list has 4 members under the age of 30, 3 members between 30 to 39, 34 members from 40 to 49, 95 members from 50 to 59, 108 members from 60 to 69, 91 members from 70 to 79, 56 members from 80 to 89, and 9 members age 90 and up. There are currently 6 heirs to the Walmart fortune
The Walton Family is one of the richest families in the world, their wealth inherited from Bud and Sam Walton, founders of the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The five most prominent members The Walton Family is one of the richest families in the world, their wealth inherited from Bud and Sam...
on the list: Tied at #12 Jim Walton, Christie Walton, and S. Robson Walton, #15 Alice Walton, #165 Ann Walton Kroenke, and #204 Nancy Walton Laurie. The Forbes 400 online has political contributions from the past four years for any American billionaire with records in the Federal Election Commissions database, as well as badges to indicate their passion and pursuits.
The Forbes 400 is currently edited by Luisa Kroll.
- List of members of the Forbes 400
- 40 under 40 (Fortune Magazine)
Fortune Magazine's 40 under 40 List details the young stars in business across the globe.Mark Zuckerberg topped the 2011 list. Facebook now has over 800 million users.-External links:***...
- Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...