The Walmart Heirs Are Worth More Than Everyone in Your City Combined

Back in the ’80s, their wealth was the equivalent of a small town. Now it’s a major metropolis.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebehr/2823296948/in/photolist-5iu8PA-AyyXV-6bsff2-AyBMH-4J4SPy-5Pujbi-831gY5-82WWqt-831guQ-bzvvc-jk9oqH-jkaGLB-nNR5DD-bzvxu-dY8NV-c6E6WU-2kT9QF-4J4SRy-jk9gtM-jk9gYV-cmpGRf-cmpGNb-cmpGwY-cmpHf7-cmpH7N-cmpGry-cmpHhE-cmpGAA-cmpGU7-cmpGof-cmpGXb-3Z4jX-bzvvH-7ucsoA-7ucssE-29ddBh-jkaL5F-jkdwKS-cmpGDW-cmpGuW-cmpGHq-85yRL3-cbxC6-bzvwC-5ujyEj-v3SRQ-bzvyL-6baS2Q-KxKLh-jkaHFH">Joe Wolf</a>/Flickr

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Everybody knows that middle-class incomes have stagnated while those of the richest Americans have skyrocketed, but the trend is even more pronounced when you look at the relative fortunes of the super-duper rich. Consider the Walmart heirs: Since 1983, their net worth has increased a staggering 6,700 percent. According to a report released today by the union-backed Economic Policy Institute, here’s how many American families earning the median income it would have taken to match the Waltons’ wealth in a given year:

In 1983, the Walton family’s net worth was $2.15 billion, equivalent to the net worth of 61,992 average American families, about the population* of…

Peoria, Arizona Hanroanu/Flickr
 

 

In 1989, the Walton family’s net worth was $9.42 billion, equivalent to the net worth of 200,434 average American families, about the population of…

Albuquerque, New Mexico Len “Doc” Radin/Flickr

 

In 1992, the Walton family’s net worth was $23.8 billion, equivalent to the net worth of 536,631 average American families, about the population of…

San Antonio, Texas Wells Dunbar/Flickr
 

In 1998, the Walton family’s net worth was $48 billion, equivalent to the net worth of 796,089 average American families, about the population of…

The State of New Mexico Shoshanah/Flickr

 

In 2001, the Walton family’s net worth was $92.8 billion, equivalent to the net worth of 1,077,761 average American families, about the population of…

Chicago, Illinois Conway Yao/Flickr

 

In 2010, the Walton family’s net worth was $89.5 billion, equivalent to the net worth of 1,157,827 average American families, about the population of…

The State of Arkansas (pictured: Walmart visitors center in Bentonville) Walmart/Flickr

 

In 2013, the Walton family’s net worth was $144.7 billion, equivalent to the net worth of 1,782,020 average American families, about the population of…

The State of Louisiana Jim Hobbs/Flickr

 

Correction: An earlier version of this article confused families with individuals, causing an under-estimate of how many individuals’ net worth would equal that of the Waltons. Population equivalents in this story are based on the size of the average American family: 2.55 individuals.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate