6 Walmart Heirs Worth Same as Bottom 41% of US

Their combined worth is $89.5 billion
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2012 6:00 PM CDT
6 Walmart Heirs Worth Same as Bottom 41% of US
Jim Walton, left, Alice Walton, center, and Robson Walton, right, greet each other during the beginning of the Walmart shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Ark., Friday, June 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/April L. Brown)

(Newser) – Who has more money: the six heirs to the Walmart fortune or the bottom 41.5% of all American families put together? Trick question—they're about the same. The Economic Policy Institute calculates that in 2010, six members of the Walton family were together worth $89.5 billion. That amount of wealth is equal to the total value held by a staggering 48.8 million US households.

In 2007, the six inheritors—who are the children of Walmart founders Sam and James Walton—boasted riches equal to the bottom 30% of Americans. But their assets have ballooned in value in the intervening three years. "It's just one example of the prevalence of income inequality in America," writes the Huffington Post. "The top 1% of American earners saw their incomes spike 275% between 1979 and 2007, while the bottom one-fifth of Americans saw their wealth grow by only 20%." (Read more Walton stories.)

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