Chart Detail

Average annual net worth of "Forbes 400" wealthiest individuals, 1982–2011 (billions of 2011 dollars)

Note: Shaded areas denote recessions.

Source: Authors' analysis of Broom and Shay (2000) and Forbes (various years)

Updated August 24, 2012

Documentation and methodology

Data for 1982 to 1999 are adapted from Broom and Shay (2000) Table 2, “‘Forbes 400’ Individual Fortunes.” Data from 2000 to 2011 are from Forbes annual lists of the richest 400 Americans. All data are adjusted to 2011 dollars using the CPI-U-RS.


Get the data behind the charts.

Explore Our Charts



Select a subject or demographic

Interactive feature

Interactive feature promo image When income grows, who gains?

For the media

Economic Policy Institute Media Relations Department (202) 775–8810 |