Boston, MA – Billionaires based in Massachusetts have seen their wealth surge during the pandemic, as the Institute for Policy Studies reveals in a new analysis, Bay State Billionaires.

The full report can be found at:

IPS’s analysis showed that total wealth of the Commonwealth’s 21 billionaires, as of May 27, 2022, is $78.36 billion.

Massachusetts billionaires’ combined wealth has increased $24.6 billion, or 45.9 percent, in the past 26 months, even with market volatility and declines in the last three months. The IPS report draws on research from Forbes and Wealth-X.

“Bay State billionaires have reaped massive benefits from their ownership of equities, primarily in finance, technology and healthcare,” said Omar Ocampo, report co-author and resident of Boston. “These industries have made tremendous innovations in the past couple of years, but they also benefited from having large public investments as a response to the pandemic.”

Massachusetts has at least 804 “ultra-high net worth” individuals — those with assets over $30 million —, who hold a total combined wealth of $224 billion, according to an analysis by IPS and the private research firm, Wealth-X. (This includes the 21 billionaires mentioned in the report).

“These dramatic wealth gains are unseemly in the face of the loss of over a million lives and millions of livelihoods,” said Chuck Collins, report author and co-editor of at the Institute for Policy Studies, who is also author of the book, The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions (Polity, 2021). “The concentration of wealth and income in the hands of the top one-tenth of 1 percent is unprecedented in the last ninety years”

“For these Massachusetts billionaires, a 4 percent income tax increase is merely a drop in the water,” added Collins, referring to the Fair Share ballot initiative in Massachusetts to levy a modest income tax hike on the wealthiest Bay State residents.

Massachusetts has the sixth most billionaires in the country, surpassed only by California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois. The Bay State ranks eighth in billionaires per 500,000 residents.

The richest person in the Commonwealth is Abigail Johnson, with $20.7 billion. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Investments and owns a 24.5 percent stake in the company. The biggest asset gainer during the pandemic is Abigail’s younger brother, Edward Johnson, IV, whose wealth increased by a whopping 157.7 percent throughout the pandemic. Johnson is worth $6.1 billion.

The Bay State has added five new billionaires since March 18, 2020, with total combined wealth of $9.9 billion, bringing the total number of billionaires to 21. They are financier Robert Hale Jr, and energy magnet George Sakellaris and Moderna vaccine billionaires Timothy Springer, Noubar Afeyan, and Robert Langer.

The Institute for Policy Studies has been tracking billionaire wealth gains throughout the pandemic. See reports on U.S. and global wealth trends.

Report authors Chuck Collins and Omar Ocampo are available for comments and interviews. Contact Olivia Alperstein, IPS Media Manager, at (202) 704-9011 or


About the Institute for Policy Studies

For nearly six decades, the Institute for Policy Studies has provided critical research support for major social movements and progressive leaders inside and outside government and on the ground around the United States and the world. As the United States’ oldest progressive multi-issue think tank, IPS turns bold ideas into action through public scholarship and mentorship of the next generation of progressive scholars and activists.

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