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Wednesday
Oct302013

Wealthiest People in Each State 19 Percent Richer than Last Year

Ramin Talaie/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The rich are indeed getting richer, according to a new list of the richest person in each of the 50 states.

As it turns out, the names at the top 10 richest people haven't changed at all, led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in Washington state. But their net worth values have ticked up. The top 10 are collectively worth a whopping $362 billion, 67 percent of the total wealth of the 50 folks in a list compiled by Wealth-X, a firm that researches ultra-high net worth individuals.

[Click here to see Wealth-X's list of the richest person in each of the 50 states]

Among the reports showing an increase in the wealth gap is a Pew Research Center report that showed the mean net worth of households in the highest 7 percent of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28 percent during the first two years of the nation's economic recovery, while the net worth in the lower 93 percent dropped by 4 percent.

The top two richest people in Wealth-X's list, Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, happen to be the most generous people in the country.

Designating a residence can be tricky for the super-rich in this list, who are known to have multiple homes across the country if not the world.  Wealth-X tries to solve this problem by tying each person to their primary place of business at times.

For example, Kenneth Dart, $6.6 billion, chairman of Dart Container Corp., renounced his citizenship and is reportedly living out of the country, though Wealth-X lists him as the richest person in Michigan.

Some folks on last year's list aren't present in 2013, such as Robert Earl Holding, owner of Sinclair Oil, who used to be the richest person in Utah. This year it's Blake Roney, chairman of Nu Skin Enterprises.

Sometimes wealth transfers don't go very far.  Last year, Pauline Keinath, great-granddaughter of W. W. Cargill, was the richest person in Minnesota. This year, it's Whitney MacMillan, her brother, who is CEO of Cargill Inc.

There are nine new people on the list, in Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Utah.  These nine are collectively worth $34 billion, which is 50 percent more than the combined net worth of the people in the same states last year.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio