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Billionaires that live in the smallest American towns

Sharon Day // Shutterstock

Billionaires that live in the smallest American towns

Billions of dollars in wealth could easily get you a swanky penthouse in the most upscale neighborhood of any city in the United States, but for some of American’s billionaires, small towns are home.

Perhaps not shockingly, the highest concentrations of “ultra-high-net-worth” individuals—or people with $30 million or more in assets—are in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Of the global billionaire population, more live in New York, Hong Kong, Moscow, Beijing, and London than anywhere else in the world, reports Forbes. But of the 680 billionaires that live in the United States, quite a few have chosen to live in quieter locales that are much more remote, have sparse populations, and offer plenty of space for sprawling complexes of mansions and gardens.

Phoenix Marketing International in 2019 reported the small town with the highest concentration of millionaires in the country is Summit Park, Utah (based on data from U.S. Census Bureau). Of the households in the Salt Lake City suburb known for its luxurious ski resorts and famed film festivals, 12.5% are millionaires, and the median annual income among residents is a whopping $94,952.

And of states, Maryland has the most millionaires per capita, with more than 1 in 12 households reporting assets of $1 million or more. According to experts, this could be because of the growth of government contracting and lobbying in the Washington D.C. area. New Jersey takes second place for the most millionaires per capita, followed by Connecticut, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Stacker compiled a list of 25 billionaires that live in the smallest American towns, using current data from the Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List and 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Billionaires are ranked by the population of their towns, and ties are broken by their net worth. The billionaire, their place of residence, their net worth, their age, and where their wealth came from are all included in this list.

Read on to find out where the rich and powerful live in the hidden corners of the United States.

You may also like: Wealthiest counties in the U.S.

Nicholas Hunt // Getty Images

#25. Daniel Gilbert

- Current residence: Franklin, Mich. (Population: 3,218)
- Net worth: $6.7 billion
- Source of wealth: Quicken Loans, self-made
- Age: 57

Dan Gilbert co-founded mortgage lender Quicken Loans in 1985, which is headquartered in Detroit. He has long been a Michigan resident, having graduated from Michigan State University. Gilbert resides just outside of the city in the suburb of Franklin, and has invested $2.5 billion to buy and rehabilitate downtown Detroit buildings in an effort to revitalize the city. He is also the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lintao Zhang // Getty Images

#24. Bill Gates

- Current residence: Medina, Wash. (Population: 3,217)
- Net worth: $103.8 billion
- Source of wealth: Microsoft, self-made
- Age: 63

Both Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, along with a number of other tech executives, call Medina, Wash., home. The Seattle suburb is located across from Lake Washington, and almost all of the homes in Medina have a private dock and private beaches. Gates lives on Evergreen Point Road in a 66,000-square-foot house worth $125 million. Among the house’s features include a 23-car garage and 24 bathrooms.


#23. Charles Simonyi

- Current residence: Medina, Wash. (Population: 3,217)
- Net worth: $3.5 billion
- Source of wealth: Microsoft, self-made
- Age: 70

Charles Simonyi, a Microsoft executive who lead the team that created the company’s Word and Excel programs, also lives in Medina, Wash. Villa Simonyi, as the complex is called, is also referred to as “Windows 2000,” because the mansion has 2,000 windows. Although many wealthy billionaires live in Medina, the town is comprised mostly of homes, and the few commercial properties include just a post office and a grocery store.

ROBERT SBARRA // Shutterstock

#22. Julian Robertson, Jr.

- Current residence: Locust Valley, N.Y. (Population: 3,174)
- Net worth: $4.4 billion
- Source of wealth: Hedge funds, self-made
- Age: 87

Julian Robertson, Jr., started Tiger Management in 1980, helping to launch the idea of the modern-day hedge fund in the process and making a fortune while doing so. Although he is retired and closed Tiger Management in 2000, Robertson still owns a number of properties, including golf courses in New Zealand, which he often visits. He even took a leave from investing in 1979 to live in New Zealand and write a novel.

Nicole S Glass // Shutterstock

#21. Bernard Saul, II.

- Current residence: Chevy Chase, Md. (Population: 2,960)
- Net worth: $3.4 billion
- Source of wealth: Banking, real estate
- Age: 87

Bernard Saul, II has long had roots in the Washington D.C., area: his grandfather was the first chairman of D.C.’s Park’s Commission. His father, Bernard Saul, founded Home Savings Bank at age 27, and Bernard Saul, II went on to found Chevy Chase Bank in 1969, which Capital One acquired in 2009. Bernard Saul, II inherited the B.F. Saul Company, which owns a number of luxury properties including the Hay-Adams hotel in D.C.

Win McNamee // Getty Images

#20. Ted Lerner and family

- Current residence: Chevy Chase, Md. (Population: 2,960)
- Net worth: $5.2 billion
- Source of wealth: Real estate, self-made
- Age: 93

Ted Lerner—a real estate developer who owns the Washington Nationals—bought his home in Chevy Chase, Md., for a reported $10 more than 50 years ago in 1963, after he opened the Wheaton Plaza Mall. Today, his home is valued at $1.46 million.

Michael Cohen // Getty Images

#19. Micky Arison

- Current residence: Bal Harbour, Fla. (Population: 2,959)
- Net worth: $8.1 billion
- Source of wealth: Carnival Cruises
- Age: 70

Micky Arison’s father, Ted Arison, co-founded Carnival Cruises with just one ship in 1972, and after the company was launched, Micky dropped out of college and became a sales representative for what would become the world’s largest cruise ship operator. In 1995, he bought the Miami Heat, keeping his roots in the Miami area even after he stepped down as CEO of Carnival in 2013.

John Lamparski // Getty Images

#18. Ken Langone

- Current residence: Sands Point, N.Y. (Population: 2,856)
- Net worth: $4 billion
- Source of wealth: Investments, self-made
- Age: 83

Out of the 400 richest Americans, seven live on Long Island, including Ken Langone, who made his fortune investing in tech and industrial companies. He is perhaps most well known for being one of the early investors in Home Depot, and is even considered a co-founder.

Fcervantes // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Amy Goldman Fowler

- Current residence: Rhinebeck, N.Y. (Population: 2,608)
- Net worth: $3.4 billion
- Source of wealth: Real estate
- Age: 65

Amy Goldman Fowler lives on a 200-acre farm in Rhinebeck, N.Y., where she gardens and lives with her husband, who is an agriculturalist. Fowler is a fierce advocate for seed saving, plant breeding, and heirloom fruits and vegetables and is the vice chair of the New York Botanical Garden. Her father, Sol Goldman, made his money in real estate in New York City, and Fowler worked in his office when she was younger.

bonandbon // Shutterstock

#16. Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer

- Current residence: Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (Population: 2,428)
- Net worth: $4 billion
- Source of wealth: Cargill
- Age: 57

Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer is an heiress of Cargill, a food and agricultural corporation that is the largest private company in the United States. Meyer is an equestrian, and trains show-jumping horses on her farm in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Sam Greenwood // Getty Images

#15. Herbert Kohler, Jr. and family

- Current residence: Kohler, Wis. (Population: 2,236)
- Net worth: $7.5 billion
- Source of wealth: Plumbing fixtures
- Age: 80

Herbert Kohler, Jr. is the executive chairman of Kohler, his family company that is now led by his son David. Prior to becoming chairman in 2015, he was the CEO of the company for 43 years. The Kohler family also owns two golf courses in Kohler, Wis., as well as the Old Course Hotel in Scotland.

Niccolò Caranti // Wikimedia Commons

#14. George Soros

- Current residence: Katonah, N.Y. (Population: 2,091)
- Net worth: $8.3 billion
- Source of wealth: Hedge funds, self-made
- Age: 89

George Soros was born in Hungary but emigrated to the United States after surviving the Holocaust and created Soros Fund Management in 1970. Soros purchased his home in Katonah, N.Y., from Michael Crichton—the author of "Jurassic Park"— for $19 million in 2003. He later bought two adjacent parcels of land from Crichton.

Sharon Day // Shutterstock

#13. Amy Wyss

- Current residence: Wilson, Wyo. (Population: 1,991)
- Net worth: $2.1 billion
- Source of wealth: Medical equipment
- Age: 48

Amy Wyss is the daughter of Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss, who started the medical equipment company Synthes. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson bought Synthes for $19.7 billion, of which Wyss received a portion. Just a few years earlier in 2007, Wyss launched the LOR Foundation with the aim of bettering the quality of life for rural American families.

Evan Agostini // Getty Images

#12. Nelson Peltz

- Current residence: Bedford, N.Y. (Population: 1,898)
- Net worth: $1.7 billion
- Source of wealth: Investments, self-made
- Age: 77

Nelson Peltz, who made his fortune by investing in small companies, bought his 27-room home in Bedford, N.Y., in the 1980s for $6 million. In the ’90s, Peltz annoyed many of his neighbors by commuting to work via his 52-foot-long helicopter, bypassing the traffic by his home to New York City.


#11. John Tu

- Current residence: Rolling Hills, Calif. (Population: 1,684)
- Net worth: $5.4 billion
- Source of wealth: Computer hardware, self-made
- Age: 78

John Tu was raised in Taiwan and earned his college degree in Germany before moving to the United States in 1971. With his business partner David Sun, Tu started Kingston Technology, a company that produces storage and memory products. Tu still works at Kingston in a cubicle on the sales floor.

Annmarie Young // Shutterstock

#10. Larry Robbins

- Current residence: Alpine, N.J. (Population: 1,481)
- Net worth: $1.9 billion
- Source of wealth: Hedge funds, self-made
- Age: 49

Larry Robbins is the founder and CEO of New York-based hedge fund Glenview Capital Management, which manages about $8 billion in assets. Robbins is also active in New York City area philanthropy, advocating for education reform through the Robbins Family Foundation and serving as chairman of the Robin Hood Foundation, which targets local poverty.

SoleilC // Shutterstock

#9. James Leprino

- Current residence: Indian Hills, Colo. (Population: 1,381)
- Net worth: $3.5 billion
- Source of wealth: Cheese
- Age: 81

James Leprino is the owner of Leprino Foods, the largest mozzarella cheese producer in the world. In fact, Leprino Foods sells cheese to Domino’s, Little Caesars, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s. The company has a processing facility in northern Colorado and is headquartered in Denver.

Dave Reginek // Getty Images

#8. Marian Ilitch

- Current residence: Bingham Farms, Mich. (Population: 1,189)
- Net worth: $3.7 billion
- Source of wealth: Little Caesars, self-made
- Age: 86

Marian Ilitch is a longtime Michigan resident, and graduated from Fordson High School and attended Dearborn Community College in Dearborn, Mich. With her husband Mike, Ilitch founded Little Caesars in Garden City, Mich., and grew the brand into the world’s largest carry-out pizza chain. The Ilitches also bought the Detroit Red Wings in 1982, and the Fox Theatre in Detroit in 1987.

Mircea Costina / Shutterstock

#7. Katharine Rayner

- Current residence: East Hampton, N.Y. (Population: 1,130)
- Net worth: $6.5 billion
- Source of wealth: Media, automotive
- Age: 74

Katharine Rayner is the heiress to Cox Enterprises, which was founded by her mother, Anne Cox Chambers. However, she is not thought to have an active role in the company. Instead, she is a member of the board of the New York Public Library and the Morgan Library. Rayner is also an active gardener at her home in East Hampton, N.Y.

Drew Angerer // Getty Images

#6. John Malone

- Current residence: Elizabeth, Colo. (Population: 1,075)
- Net worth: $7.2 billion
- Source of wealth: Cable television, self-made
- Age: 78

John Malone moved to Colorado to work at Tele-Communications, Inc. when he was 31 years old, where he developed a relationship with cable operator Bob Magness, who often invited Malone to his ranch. This fostered Malone’s love of the Colorado landscape and land conservation, and he went on to own 170,000 acres of land in Colorado, 230,000 acres in New Mexico, and a similar amount in Maine.

HAI DO // Getty Images

#5. Craig McCaw

- Current residence: Hunts Point, Wash. (Population: 423)
- Net worth: $1.8 billion
- Source of wealth: Telecom
- Age: 70

Craig McCaw is the founder of McCaw Cellular, which was acquired by AT&T in 1994, and the Clearwire Corporation, which provides broadband Internet service. In 2009, Clearwire started up its first 4G mobile network in Portland, Ore., becoming the second city in the United States to provide a high-speed network at broadband speeds.

[Pictured: AT&T chairman Robert Allen (left) and McCaw Cellular chairman Craig McCaw (right) discuss their merger in 1993.]

Microsoft Sweden // Flickr

#4. Steve Ballmer

- Current residence: Hunts Point, Wash. (Population: 423)
- Net worth: $51.7 billion
- Source of wealth: Microsoft, Self Made
- Age: 63

Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer—who can count Craig McCaw among his neighbors—bought his four-bedroom home and two acres of property in Hunts Point, Wash., in 1987 for $1.33 million. Today, the home of the Los Angeles Clippers owner is valued at more than $15 million.

Royalbroil // Wikimedia Commons

#3. James Cargill, II

- Current residence: Birchwood, Wis. (Population: 348)
- Net worth: $3.6 billion
- Source of wealth: Cargill
- Age: 70

James Cargill, II is one of the heirs to Cargill, and the family reaps in about 18% of net profits as dividends from the company annually. Cargill’s grandfather, W.W. Cargill, started the business in 1865 in a warehouse at the end of a railroad line in Iowa. His family still owns about 90% of the company.

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#2. Jacqueline Mars

- Current residence: The Plains, Va. (Population: 169)
- Net worth: $29.7 billion
- Source of wealth: Candy, pet food
- Age: 79

Jacqueline Mars—the heiress of the Mars candy company—grew up on a 740-acre farm in The Plains, Va., where the hogs and steers on the family property were fed what had been deemed as “imperfect” M&Ms shipped in from the company’s New Jersey plant. Mars lives just a few miles from the farm today at a property called Stonehall Farm, and also owns a penthouse at the Watergate in Washington D.C.

Mia2you // Shutterstock

#1. Bharat Desai

- Current residence: Fisher Island, Fla. (Population: 81)
- Net worth: $1.4 billion
- Source of wealth: IT consulting, self-made
- Age: 66

Although Fisher Island, Fla., might sound remote and is only accessible by boat, it’s actually the country’s most millionaire-dense zip code where residents have an average annual salary of almost $700,000. The man-made barrier island even requires that its residents pay membership dues, which are more than $22,000 each year and require an initial contribution of $250,000.

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