USA TODAY® Related Activities

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That’s Rich!

Materials: calculator, grid paper for making graphs

Work alone or in a group of two or three.

An individual or a family with a net worth of \$1,000 million or more is known as a “dollar billionaire”. In 1992, there were an estimated 73 billionaires in the U.S. Today there are well over 200 billionaires. The table shows the ten U.S. states with the most billionaires. It also shows the total net worth of the billionaires in each state.

 State Net Worth of Billionaires Number of Billionaires 1. California 163,315,000,000 92 2. New York 104,025,000,000 49 3. Texas 78,553,000,000 36 4. Florida 24,350,000,000 20 5. Illinois 31,785,000,000 15 6. Pennsylvania 19,850,000,000 14 7. Washington 109,495,000,000 14 8. Michigan 12,575,000,000 11 9. Colorado 9,600,000,000 10 10. Massachusetts 33,200,000,000 10

Procedure for the Activity

 Step 1 Make a horizontal bar graph that shows the number of billionaires for each of the ten states. (See a sample horizontal bar graph on page 16 of your textbook.) Step 2 In the graph you made in Step 1, suppose a segment was drawn along the top of each bar. Which states would have segments that are congruent? Explain. Step 3 Use the information in the table to find the average net worth of a billionaire in each state. For example, what is the average net worth for a billionaire in California? Round each value for net worth to the nearest one hundred million. Step 4 Use the values from Step 3 to make a horizontal bar graph that shows the average net worth for billionaires for each of the ten states. Step 5 In the graph you made in Step 4, suppose a segment was drawn along the top of each bar. Which states would have segments that are congruent? Explain.

Wrapping Up the Activity

Research several billionaires on the Internet. Find out how these billionaires made their fortunes. Make a conjecture about why California, New York, and Texas have the most billionaires in the U.S. Write a paragraph justifying your conjecture.