The 42nd annual Forbes 400 list of Richest Americans is out and overall, the rich are getting richer, with Walmart heir Alice Walton taking back the title of America’s richest woman and Elon Musk holding on to his No. 1 ranking.
Alice Walton, founder of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, ranked 14th on the list with wealth valued at $66.5 billion up from $55.7 billion. Walmart shares are up about 20% compared to last year.
Walmart founder Sam Walton’s only daughter, Alice took back her title as the richest woman on the list this year from Julia Koch who along with her three children inherited a 42% stake in Koch Industries. Before Koch became the richest woman on the list last year, Walton had held the title since 2015. Koch now ranks 15th on the list.
Lukas Walton, 37, grandson of Sam Walton, is the youngest person on the list this year. He ranked 31st with $24.2 billion, up from $20.5 billion last year. Lukas Walton is one of four people on the list under 40. The average age of those on the list sits at 70 and the oldest person in the rankings is 100, according to Forbes.
Jim Walton of Bentonville, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arvest Bank Group and a son of Sam Walton, dropped out of the top 10 richest Americans this year. He fell from 10th to 12th this year but his net worth is an estimated $68.2 billion, up from $57.9 billion last year.
S. Robson “Rob” Walton of Bentonville, the oldest son in the family, ranked No. 13 with his net worth pegged $67.4 billion, up from $56.7 billion.
For the sixth year in a row the Forbes list has included a philanthropy score. The score ranks list members on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most philanthropic. Alice Walton earned a score of 2 while both Jim and Rob were given scores of 1
Musk, co-founder of Tesla and Space X along with other companies, took over the top spot last year, besting Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos. This year, Musk’s net worth is an estimated $251 billion, the same as last year, despite the purchase of Twitter — now called X — in what many have said was a less the favorable deal, and swings in Tesla’s stock price.
Bezos remains the nation’s second most wealthy man at $161 billion with Larry Ellison, co-founder of software company Oracle, sits at third with $158 billion. Ellison saw his net worth surge about $57 billion, the greatest gain on the list, on intense interest in artificial intelligence.
As a whole, the wealthiest folks in the nation are $500 billion richer than a year ago, according to the magazine. A stock market comeback and the artificial intelligence tech craze are credited with the gains of many on the list. Combined, those on the list now have $4.5 trillion in wealth
To even get on the list of 400 billionaires this year it takes a net worth of $2.9 billion, more than last year’s $2.7 billion. Forbes used stock prices from September 8, 2023 to calculate net worth.
The list saw 18 newcomers this year, including Michael Jordan and venture capitalist Josh Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s brother-in-law. Falling off the list this year are 24 people, including Donald Trump, who returned to the list last year. The magazine estimates his wealth declined nearly 20%.
Barbra Tyson, who last year entered the list for the first time with a net worth of $3 billion also dropped off the list. She is the wife of the late Randal Tyson, son of Tyson Foods, Inc. founder John W. Tyson. Tyson shares have been pummelled this year as the company has reported two consecutive quarterly losses and it has closed two chicken processing plants and is in the process of shuttering four more.
Christy Walton, the wife of the late John Walton and mother of Lukas Walton, ranked No. 58 with $11.8 billion, up from $10 billion.
Ann Walton-Kroenke, ranked No. 87 with wealth valued at $9.4 billion, up from $8.3 billion last year. She is the daughter of Sam Walton’s brother, James “Bud”Walton. Her husband Stan Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams, ranked No. 47 with $14.6 billion up from $12.9 billion. Nancy Walton Laurie, another daughter of Bud Walton, ranked No. 88 with $9.3 billion, up from $7.7 billion a year ago.
Johnelle Hunt, widow of J.B. Hunt Transport Services founder J.B. Hunt, of Fayetteville ranked No. 249 with wealth of $4.6 billion, up from $4.2 billion. She earned a philanthropy score of 2. Warren Stephens of Little Rock ranked No. 356 with $3.2 billion, the same amount as last year.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys and a member of the 1964 national championship football team for the Arkansas Razorbacks, ranked No. 48 with $14.5 billion down from $16 billion last year.