The Walton family’s six heirs to Walmart’s enormous fortune are now worth $93 billion, becoming the richest family in the world in 2011, but if you think that’s shocking, the Economic Policy Institute released a new report.
It shows that the family has as much wealth as the combined sum of the lowest-earning 40 percent of Americans — or about 48.8 million households — according to the institute.
And as the mid-point of family net worth fell 38.8% in the U.S. between 2007 and 2010 to $77,300, the Waltons’ fortune grew an inflation-adjusted $16.2 billion.
To match such a pot would require 1.16 million households with the median wealth, which is roughly the population of San Diego, if you can imagine that.
Last year, a researcher from UC Berkeley concluded that the six children of Sam and James Walton — who launched Wal-Mart in the 1960s — were as wealthy in 2007 as the bottom 30% of Americans combined.
Household net worth took a 35% dive from 2005 to 2010, according to recent data from the Census Bureau. Recent pay raises don’t amount to much, considering the impact of inflation.
The company has more than 8,970 (2010) stores, is also the world’s largest private employer with 2,100,000 employees, and is the world’s largest company based on revenue with more than $421.849 billion (2010) in annual sales.
Fifty years ago, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. The company now serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 10,270 retail units under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, the retail chain employs 2.2 million associates worldwide.
To commemorate the company’s first 50 years, Mike Duke, Charles Holley, and other Walmart and Sam’s Club associates rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on July 2, 2012.