Colorado billionaires doing just fine, workers not so much, new data show

The 500 richest people, including four Colorado billionaires, collectively gained $1 trillion in 2017.
2 min. read
Cash. (Jericho/Wikimedia Commons)

A machine that presses Roosevelt's face into blank dimes. Making money at the U.S. Mint. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The Rockefellers and Vanderbilts dominated headlines during the last time the ultra-rich had this much wealth, according to new data from the Bloomberg Index.

The 500 richest people, including four Colorado billionaires, collectively gained $1 trillion in 2017. As of Dec. 26, the billionaires controlled $5.3 trillion, up from $4.4 trillion on Dec. 27, 2016, Bloomberg reports.

The new numbers show global inequality hit a 100-year high in 2017, with billions of poorer people seeing their earnings stagnate or decline, according to The Guardian.

A recently released report from the Colorado Center on Law & Policy shows the Centennial State is seeing similar inequity in income growth.

"The median wage has been flat since the end of the recession and is still down 2 percent compared to 2000," according to the State of Working Colorado report. "The most consistent wage growth has been experienced by the top earners in the state."

(State of Working Colorado, Colorado Center on Law & Policy)

Colorado's richest person, Dish Network chairman Charles Ergen, did not do so hot year over year, losing $1.88 billion in the year leading up to Monday, according to the index.

Don't worry about Ergen, though. His $15.8 billion is still enough to make him to the 79th richest person in the world. Or to put it another way, he has enough money to give every single Coloradan about $2,818.

Anschutz Corp. owner, Phil Anschutz, raked in $320 million year over year. Anschutz' $10.9 billion makes him the 133rd richest person in the world.

Liberty Global chairman John Malone, gained $1.06 billion year over year, putting his wealth at $9.17 billion as of Jan. 1., according to the index. That's good enough to make Malone the 159th richest person in the world

Leprino Foods owner and chairman Jim Leprino has less than half Malone's wealth at about $4.16 billion. Leprino saw a $142 million increase year over year. He comes in at No. 490 out of the 500 richest billionaires.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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