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

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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.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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