Watch Out, These Billionaires Could Buy Your City

Amazon CEO Founder Jeff Bezos
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Everyone knows that the richest people in the world can buy mansions, yachts, and political influence. But did you know that the richest of them all have enough money to buy entire American cities — or 10, 20, 30 or 40 of them? Well, they can — sort of. 

Explore: These 15 Billionaires Got Richer During the Pandemic
Billionaires vs. the Middle Class Across America: Who Pays More in Taxes?

Using data from Forbes and the nonpartisan think tank Truth in Accounting, GOBankingRates matched the wealthiest billionaires with the cities they could “buy” if they chose to take ownership of those metropolitan centers by paying off their debt. If you think you don’t feel great about your finances now, wait until you see that some people are so rich that the combined debt of entire cities represents just one one-hundredth of their net worths. 

Meet the billionaires who could add the biggest cities in America to their real estate portfolios if they could work out a debt repayment plan with the mayors who call those cities home. 

Learn: For Gates, Musk, Bezos, Spending $1 Million Is Like Spending $1

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Leonard Lauder

  • Net worth: $27,100,000,000
  • Age: 88
  • Source of wealth: Estee Lauder

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 5

  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 50.36%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 27.74%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 18.66%
  • Albuquerque, N.M.
    • Debt: $850,675,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.14%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.09%

Miriam Adelson

  • Net worth: $28,100,000,000
  • Age: 75
  • Source of wealth: Casinos

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 8

  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 48.57%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 26.75%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 17.99%
  • Kansas City, Mo. 
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 5.99%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.45%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000 
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.08%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.08%
  • Long Beach, California
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.07%

Look: Things To Know About the Crazy Rich World of Amazon

Daniel Gilbert

  • Net worth: $30,800,000,000
  • Age: 59
  • Source of wealth: Quicken Loans

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 4

  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 44.31%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 24.40%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 16.42%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 14.83%

Jacqueline Mars

  • Net worth: $31,400,000,000
  • Age: 81
  • Source of wealth: Candy, pet food

How Many Cities She Could Buy: 5

  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 43.47%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 23.94%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 16.10%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 16.10%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.07%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.07%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.06%

John Mars

  • Net worth: $31,400,000,000
  • Age: 85
  • Source of wealth: Candy, pet food

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 7

  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 43.47%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 23.94%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 16.10%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 16.10%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.07%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.07%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Stephen Schwarzman

  • Net worth: $36,100,000,000
  • Age: 74
  • Source of wealth: Investments

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 9

  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 37.81%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 20.82%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 14.01%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 14.00%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 12.65%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.35%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%

Len Blavatnik

  • Net worth: $39,600,000,000
  • Age: 64
  • Source of wealth: Music, chemicals

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 4

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 91.97%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 7.89%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%

Find Out: Just How Rich Are Elon Musk, Donald Trump and These Other Big Names?

Julia Koch and Family

  • Net worth: $50,700,000,000
  • Age: 59
  • Source of wealth: Koch Industries

How Many Cities She Could Buy: 4

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 71.84%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 26.92%
  • Sacramento, Calif.
    • Debt: $607,524,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 1.2%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.04%

Charles Koch

  • Net worth: $50,700,000,000
  • Age: 85
  • Source of wealth: Koch Industries

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 4

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $34,418,150,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 83.95%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $5,307,747,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 12.95%
  • Sacramento
    • Debt: $1,155,099,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.82%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $1,155,099,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.82%

Michael Dell

  • Net worth: $53,100,000,000
  • Age: 56
  • Source of wealth: Dell computers

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 7

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 68.59%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 25.70%
  • Jacksonville
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 5.34%
  • Colorado Springs
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.24%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%

Phil Knight and Family

  • Net worth: $55,100,000,000
  • Age: 83
  • Source of wealth: Nike

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 3

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 66.10%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 24.77%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 8.29%
  • Las Vegas
    • Debt: $379,616,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.69%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%

MacKenzie Scott

  • Net worth: $57,300,000,000
  • Age: 51
  • Source of wealth: Amazon

How Many Cities She Could Buy: 5

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 63.56%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 23.82%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 8.82%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 3.72%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.04%

Michael Bloomberg

  • Net worth: $59,000,000,000
  • Age: 79
  • Source of wealth: Bloomberg LP

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 7

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 61.73%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 23.13%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 12.74%
  • Tucson, Ariz.
    • Debt: $1,312,742,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.22%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.03%

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Rob Walton

  • Net worth: $65,000,000,000
  • Age: 76
  • Source of wealth: Walmart

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 5

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 56.03%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 21.00%
  • Houston, Texas
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 11.56%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 7.78%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.6%

Alice Walton

  • Net worth: $65,300,000,000
  • Age: 71
  • Source of wealth: Walmart

How Many Cities She Could Buy: 6

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 55.78%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 20.90%
  • Houston, Texas
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 11.51%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 7.74%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 3.65%
  • Atlanta
    • Debt: $262,357,000
    • Debt as a percentage of her wealth: 0.40%

Jim Walton

  • Net worth: $66,300,000,000
  • Age: 73
  • Source of wealth: Walmart

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 7

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 54.93%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 20.59%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 11.34%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 7.63%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 5.06%
  • Atlanta
    • Debt: $262,357,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.40%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.04%

Steve Ballmer

  • Net worth: $94,600,000,000
  • Age: 65
  • Source of wealth: Microsoft

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 16

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 38.50%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 14.43%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 7.95%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 5.34%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 5.34%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.83%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.7%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.53%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.98%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.55%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.30%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.28%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.13%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%

Warren Buffett

  • Net worth: $101,500,000,000
  • Age: 91
  • Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 17

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 31.32%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 11.74%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 6.46%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.35%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.35%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.93%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.82%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.69%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.24%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.89%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.69%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.67%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.44%
  • Milwaukee, Wisc.
    • Debt: $2,771,778,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.38%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.05%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.01%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.83%
  • Austin
    • Debt: $2,055,917,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.77%
  • Miami
    • Debt: $2,037,986,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.75%
  • New Orleans
    • Debt: $2,003,743,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.72%
  • Kansas City, Mo.
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.45%
  • San Antonio, Texas
    • Debt: $1,499,768,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.29%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%

Take a Look: Weird Things Top Billionaires Have in Common

Sergey Brin

  • Net worth: $116,300,000,000
  • Age: 48
  • Source of wealth: Google

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 26

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 35.88%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 13.45%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 7.41%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.98%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.98%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.50%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.38%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.22%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.71%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.31%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.08%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.06%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.79%
  • Milwaukee, Wisc.
    • Debt: $2,771,778,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.73%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.05%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.01%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.83%
  • Austin
    • Debt: $2,055,917,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.77%
  • Miami
    • Debt: $2,037,986,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.75%
  • New Orleans
    • Debt: $2,003,743,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.72%
  • Kansas City, Mo.
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.45%
  • San Antonio, Texas
    • Debt: $1,499,768,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.29%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.11%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%

Larry Ellison

  • Net worth: $119,600,000,000
  • Age: 77
  • Source of wealth: Software

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 25

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 30.45%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 11.41%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 6.28%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.23%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.23%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.82%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.71%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.58%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.15%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.81%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.61%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.59%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.37%
  • Milwaukee, Wisc.
    • Debt: $2,771,778,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.32%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.99%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.96%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.78%
  • Austin
    • Debt: $2,055,917,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.72%
  • Miami
    • Debt: $2,037,986,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.70%
  • New Orleans
    • Debt: $2,003,743,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.68%
  • Kansas City, Mo.
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.41%
  • San Antonio, Texas
    • Debt: $1,499,768,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.25%
  • Denver, Colo.
    • Debt: $1,481,382,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.24%
  • Tucson, Ariz.
    • Debt: $1,312,742,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.10%
  • Mesa, Ariz.
    • Debt: $717,202,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%

Larry Page

  • Net worth: $120,700,000,000
  • Age: 48
  • Source of wealth: Google

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 28

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 30.17%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 11.31%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 6.23%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.19%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.19%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.78%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.68%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.55%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.12%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.78%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.59%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.57%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.35%
  • Milwaukee, Wisc.
    • Debt: $2,771,778,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.30%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.98%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.94%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.77%
  • Austin
    • Debt: $2,055,917,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.70%
  • Miami
    • Debt: $2,037,986,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.69%
  • New Orleans
    • Debt: $2,003,743,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.66%
  • Kansas City, Mo.
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.40%
  • San Antonio, Texas
    • Debt: $1,499,768,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.24%
  • Denver, Colo.
    • Debt: $1,481,382,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.23%
  • Tucson, Ariz.
    • Debt: $1,312,742,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.09%
  • Detroit
    • Debt: $1,289,670,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.07%
  • Las Vegas
    • Debt: $379,616,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.31%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.10%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%

See: 20 Hobbies of the Rich Only They Can Afford

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Net worth: $126,400,000,000
  • Age: 37
  • Source of wealth: Facebook

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 35

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 28.81%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 10.80%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 5.95%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.00%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 4.00%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.61%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.51%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.39%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.98%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.65%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.47%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.46%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.24%
  • Milwaukee, Wisc.
    • Debt: $2,771,778,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.19%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.89%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.85%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.69%
  • Austin
    • Debt: $2,055,917,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.63%
  • Miami
    • Debt: $2,037,986,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.61%
  • New Orleans
    • Debt: $2,003,743,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.59%
  • Kansas City, Mo.
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.33%
  • San Antonio, Texas
    • Debt: $1,499,768,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.19%
  • Denver, Colo.
    • Debt: $1,481,382,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.17%
  • Tucson, Ariz.
    • Debt: $1,312,742,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.04%
  • Detroit
    • Debt: $1,289,670,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.02%
  • Omaha, Neb.
    • Debt: $1,163,214,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.92%
  • Indianapolis
    • Debt: $1,063,629,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.84%
  • El Paso, Texas
    • Debt: $994,570,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.79%
  • Columbus, Ohio
    • Debt: $982,712,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.78%
  • Seattle, Wash.
    • Debt: $926,696,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.73%
  • Albuquerque
    • Debt: $850,675,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.67%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.10%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%

Bill Gates

  • Net worth: $131,000,000,000
  • Age: 65
  • Source of wealth: Microsoft

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 42

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 27.80%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 10.42%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 5.74%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.86%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.86%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.49%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.39%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.27%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.88%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.56%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.38%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.37%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.16%
  • Milwaukee, Wisc.
    • Debt: $2,771,778,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.12%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.82%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.79%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.63%
  • Austin
    • Debt: $2,055,917,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.57%
  • Miami
    • Debt: $2,037,986,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.56%
  • New Orleans
    • Debt: $2,003,743,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.53%
  • Kansas City, Mo.
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.29%
  • San Antonio, Texas
    • Debt: $1,499,768,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.14%
  • Denver, Colo.
    • Debt: $1,481,382,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.13%
  • Tucson, Ariz.
    • Debt: $1,312,742,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1%
  • Detroit
    • Debt: $1,289,670,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.98%
  • Omaha, Neb.
    • Debt: $1,163,214,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.89%
  • Indianapolis
    • Debt: $1,063,629,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.81%
  • El Paso, Texas
    • Debt: $994,570,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.76%
  • Columbus, Ohio
    • Debt: $982,712,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.75%
  • Seattle, Wash.
    • Debt: $926,696,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.71%
  • Albuquerque, N.M
    • Debt: $850,675,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.65%
  • Memphis, Tenn.
    • Debt: $810,026,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.62%
  • Mesa, Ariz.
    • Debt: $717,202,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.55%
  • Sacramento, Calif.
    • Debt: $607,524,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.46%
  • Virginia Beach, Va.
    • Debt: $574,872,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.44%
  • Louisville, Ky.
    • Debt: $537,298,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.41%
  • Las Vegas
    • Debt: $379,616,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.29%
  • Atlanta
    • Debt: $262,357,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.20%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.10%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.02%

Check Out: 20 Billionaire American Dynasties and How They Made Their Money

Jeff Bezos

  • Net worth: $197,700,000,000
  • Age: 57
  • Source of wealth: Amazon

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 42

  • Chicago
    • Debt: $36,421,146,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 18.42%
  • Philadelphia
    • Debt: $13,648,089,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 6.90%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.80%
  • Los Angeles
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.56%
  • Dallas, Texas
    • Debt: $5,054,647,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.56%
  • San Francisco
    • Debt: $4,567,756,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.31%
  • Portland, Ore.
    • Debt: $4,442,283,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.25%
  • Nashville, Tenn.
    • Debt: $4,286,965,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 2.17%
  • Baltimore
    • Debt: $3,769,023,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.91%
  • San Jose, Calif.
    • Debt: $3,355,297,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.70%
  • Boston
    • Debt: $3,122,749,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.58%
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Debt: $3,103,473,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.57%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Debt: $2,833,207,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.43%
  • Milwaukee, Wisc.
    • Debt: $2,771,778,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.40%
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Debt: $2,384,515,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.21%
  • Oakland, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,339,821,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.18%
  • San Diego, Calif.
    • Debt: $2,132,295,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.08%
  • Austin
    • Debt: $2,055,917,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.04%
  • Miami
    • Debt: $2,037,986,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.03%
  • New Orleans
    • Debt: $2,003,743,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 1.01%
  • Kansas City, Mo.
    • Debt: $1,684,423,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.85%
  • San Antonio, Texas
    • Debt: $1,499,768,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.76%
  • Denver, Colo.
    • Debt: $1,481,382,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.75%
  • Tucson, Ariz.
    • Debt: $1,312,742,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.66%
  • Detroit
    • Debt: $1,289,670,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.98%
  • Omaha, Neb.
    • Debt: $1,163,214,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.89%
  • Indianapolis
    • Debt: $1,063,629,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.81%
  • El Paso, Texas
    • Debt: $994,570,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.76%
  • Columbus, Ohio
    • Debt: $982,712,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.75%
  • Seattle, Wash.
    • Debt: $926,696,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.47%
  • Albuquerque, N.M
    • Debt: $850,675,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.43%
  • Memphis, Tenn.
    • Debt: $810,026,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.41%
  • Mesa, Ariz.
    • Debt: $717,202,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.36%
  • Sacramento, Calif.
    • Debt: $607,524,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.31%
  • Virginia Beach, Va.
    • Debt: $574,872,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.29%
  • Louisville, Ky.
    • Debt: $537,298,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.27%
  • Las Vegas
    • Debt: $379,616,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.19%
  • Atlanta
    • Debt: $262,357,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.13%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%
  • Arlington, Texas
    • Debt: $23,282,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.01%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.01%
  • Long Beach, Calif.
    • Debt: $20,164,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.01%

Elon Musk

  • Net worth: $203,400,000,000
  • Age: 50
  • Source of wealth: Tesla Motors, SpaceX

How Many Cities He Could Buy: 5

  • New York
    • Debt: $194,422,261,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 95.59%
  • Houston
    • Debt: $7,516,634,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 3.70%
  • Tucson, Ariz.
    • Debt: $5,055,893,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.65%
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Debt: $125,901,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.06%
  • Minneapolis
    • Debt: $22,065,000
    • Debt as a percentage of his wealth: 0.01%
More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: To compare billionaires to cities, GOBankingRates first found the net worths of the 25 richest Americans according to the Forbes Real Time Billionaire list as of September 27, 2021. Next, GOBankingRates compiled data on the total non-capital debt or surplus held by each of the 50 most populated cities (as of 2019) in the U.S., as provided by nonpartisan think tank Truth in Accounting’s 2021 Financial State of the Cities report. GOBankingRates was then able to create a list of cities for each billionaire which hold debt that cumulatively totals to less than the billionaire’s net worth. In other words, these lists represent collections of cities for which a sum equaling their corresponding billionaire’s net worth could settle all currently unfunded expenses. In creating these lists, cities with more debt were prioritized for inclusion. After a city was added to a billionaire’s list, its total debt was subtracted from their net worth and the city with the most debt that totaled less than the remainder of their net worth was added, and so on until the remainder of their net worth was no longer larger than any considered city’s debt. GOBankingRates also calculated the percentage of each billionaire’s net worth the debt for each city included in their list represents. All research was conducted on and up to date as of Sept. 27, 2021.

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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