One big fish, one very small pond puts New Hampshire fifth on billionaires list

By MAUREEN MILLIKEN

Manchester Ink Link

Published: 09-30-2023 1:00 PM

It may surprise you to learn that New Hampshire has the fifth-highest number of billionaires per million people in the U.S.

Of course, that’s all relative, with the catch being “per million people” and billionaires meaning those among the top 100 wealthiest people in the U.S., not all of the billionaires in the U.S – as of last count there were 756.

The study by The Digital Project Manager, an online professional project manager resource, refers to the billionaires as “the most successful” Americans. We won’t. More on that later.

Wyoming is the top state for billionaires, according to the study. Wyoming has two billionaires on the Forbes Top 100 List (the study doesn’t say what list it’s going by, but Forbes is the most common source for this information). According to the study’s methodology, with a population of 576,851, Wyoming has 3.47 billionaires per one million people, giving it the most by far of any state.

New Hampshire only has one billionaire among the nation’s top 100. That would be Rick Cohen, owner and executive chairman of C&S Wholesale Grocers, one of the largest grocery wholesalers in the U.S. He is also the chairman and chief product officer of Symbotic, an artificial intelligence-enabled robotics company.

Cohen and the Granite State’s 1.3 million population, combine for a solid fifth-place finish, with 0.73 millionaires per one million in population. For what it’s worth, New Hampshire is the only state on the list that has just one billionaire.

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Cohen “and family,” of Keene, was 99th on the 2022 Forbes 400 list, with his worth listed at $7.6 billion. Forbes’ 2023 list of wealthiest Americans hasn’t come out yet. Its top 400 in the world has, and Cohen “and family” is listed at 195, with a worth of $9.6 billion. 

The state with the most billionaires on the list, California, has 21. But its place in the standings – ninth – is hampered by its 39 million-plus population. New York suffers a similar fate. Despite having 14 billionaires in the top 100, it places sixth, edged out by New Hampshire, because of its 20 million-plus residents.

Wyoming’s billionaires are John Mars, of the Mars Inc. candy (and so much more) family, and Christy Walton, who married into the family that founded Walmart.   

“The US is home to some of the world’s wealthiest and most successful people, so it’s fascinating to see which states billionaires are making residence in,” said Nuala Turner, editor of The Digital Project Manager, about the research. “It’s interesting to note despite Wyoming having the lowest population out of all the states, it comes out on top for homing some of the most successful people in the U.S.”

Although another way of looking at it is that Wyoming comes out on top because it has one of the lowest populations, not despite that fact.

And the word “successful” is questionable. It’s not really clear what success Wyoming’s two billionaires have had in life – that’s all relative anyway, isn’t it? – but both had the great luck to be connected to two of the wealthiest families in the U.S.

Turner gives this advice: “Although becoming a billionaire might seem like an unreachable goal, it can become a reality for some people. Great ways to improve your own success include having a long-term plan, taking calculated risks, focus, discipline, and routine to enhance your likelihood of financial success.”

Those are good tips for financial success. Judging from the Forbes list, though, the best bets for success include being male and white. Having a last name like Walton or Mars also doesn’t hurt.

While many on the list are “self-made,” many more joined a successful family business (Cohen included), or simply inherited, or married into, wealth.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org. 

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