400 richest Americans now worth $2 trillion

Thumbs Up At Desk

The 400 richest Americans are now worth a combined $2 trillion, according to Forbes. That's more than the GDPs of many nations.

That sets a record, Forbes said, and marks a jump from last year's total of $1.7 trillion.

The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member is now $5 billion-also the highest ever. And the costs of being part of the 400 Club rose to $1.3 billion.

(Read more: Gates tops Forbes list again )

But it's the $2 trillion number that remains the most interesting. The 400 richest are now worth more than the GDPs of many nations-and they are worth more than most governments spend or tax.

Here is some perspective on what the 400 richest Americans are really worth.

  • $2 trillion is more than the combined net worth of half of all Americans. The bottom half, of course.
  • $2 trillion is more than the annual GDP of Italy, Mexico or Canada.
  • $2 trillion is equal to the Federal Reserve's holdings of publicly traded U.S. Treasurys.
  • $2 trillion is the estimated size of the underground economy, mostly unreported income.
  • $2 trillion would fund all government spending through July of this year.
  • $2 trillion is equal to about two-thirds of all taxes to be collected in the U.S. for 2013.
  • $2 trillion would pay for all of the existing home sales in the U.S. in 2012 AND2013 year-to-date.


-By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter
@robtfrank

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