Top 10 Richest Families in the US

Americans are fascinated by the rich and famous’s lifestyles as depicted on television and social media. Despite the lavish automobiles and vacations depicted in certain TV series, these celebrities’ fortune pales in compared to some of America’s wealthiest families.

And, as the cliché goes, the rich get richer. As of April 2024, America’s so-called “great wealth transfer” is in motion, with trillions of dollars in inheritance flowing from older to younger generations over the next two decades. However, the vast majority of that transfer will take place among America’s wealthiest 10%, who control the majority of the country’s assets.

Stacker used 2024 Forbes data to identify the 20 richest households in America. Families are ranked in ascending order of total wealth, with the richest family getting the top slot on the list.

The net worth discrepancy between the #20 and the #1 richest family is startlingly enormous, with the wealthiest family in America currently worth more than $267 billion and the 20th at $18.8 billion. The combined net wealth of the 20 families on this list is approximately $1 trillion. If these families were a country, they would be the 20th richest in the world, surpassing Switzerland, Ireland, and Taiwan based on GDP. As of the first quarter of 2024, the wealthiest 0.1% of households possess nearly 14% of the country’s wealth, while the top 10% own 67%.

Most of America’s wealthiest families built their fortunes in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some became wealthy by discovering oil in the American South or starting a local business, while others made risky but prudent investments. The forefathers of America’s wealthiest families were also capable of transforming failing businesses, such as breweries and newspapers, into global empires.

While some clans have maintained a low profile for over a century, others have acquired national prominence and name recognition due to inheritance disputes, affairs, political scandals, and illicit activities. Check out America’s 20 richest families, which include grocers, investors, and oil barons as well as the world’s top alcohol makers.

3. Koch family

– Net worth: $116 billion
– Number of family members: 13
– Source of wealth: Diversified
– Headquarters: Wichita, KS

The Koch family owns Koch Industries, which is one of the largest privately held enterprises in the United States. Brothers David and Charles are well-known for their influence on American politics. David died in August 2019.

4. Cargill-MacMillan family

– Net worth: $60.6 billion
– Number of family members: 90 (estimated)
– Source of wealth: Cargill Inc.
– Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN

According to Forbes, the Cargill-MacMillan family is the wealthiest in the world, with 14 billionaires. Cargill Inc. is worth over $62 billion as of 2023 and produces and distributes food commodities such as sugar, turkey, and chocolate.

6. Pritzker family

– Net worth: $41.6 billion
– Number of family members: 50 (estimated)
– Source of wealth: hotels, Investments
– Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Abram Nicholas Pritzker was the son of Ukrainian immigrants who moved in Chicago during the 1880s. He increased his riches by purchasing real estate and businesses in the area, and the Pritzker family is best known for founding the Hyatt Hotel brand, among other ventures.

7. S.C. Johnson family

– Net worth: $38.5 billion
– Number of family members: 68
– Source of wealth: Cleaning products
– Headquarters: Racine, WI

Samuel Curtis Johnson founded and named the family-owned SC Johnson firm. Johnson’s parquet flooring business expanded in the 1800s after he developed the company’s floor wax. Today, the family is worth about $40 billion and owns businesses such as Glade and Ziploc.

 

8. Cathy family

– Net worth: $33.6 billion
– Number of family members: 35
– Source of wealth: Chick-fil-A
– Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

The Cathys know how to make fried chicken sandwiches and have amassed a fortune with their Chick-fil-A empire. Samuel Truett Cathy, a businessman, investor, and Southern Baptist, established the family business in Hapeville, Georgia, in 1946.

Many of Cathy’s business decisions were influenced by his Christian convictions, particularly his “closed-on-Sundays” policy, which recognizes Sundays as a day of rest in Christianity. Many people would expect the popular fast-food restaurant to suffer financially as a result of being closed on Sundays, but the Cathys remain billionaires.

 

9. Duncan family

– Net worth: $30 billion
– Number of family members: 4
– Source of wealth: Pipelines
– Headquarters: Houston, TX

Dan Duncan, the son of an oil worker, created Enterprise Products Partners in 1968. He eventually became one of the largest pipeline operators in the United States. Randa Duncan Williams, his eldest daughter, currently leads the Enterprise Products Partners board.

 

10. Cox family

– Net worth: $26.8 billion
– Number of family members: 31
– Source of wealth: Media
– Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

The Cox family began building their billion-dollar fortune in 1898, when James M. Cox purchased the Daytona Evening News. Cox Enterprises now includes telecommunications businesses Cox Communications and Cox Media Group.

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