The Koch Brothers Could Own Every House in Atlanta

Ethan Corey

While most Americans struggle to afford housing, some of the world's richest billionaires have enough money to buy whole cities, according to online real estate broker Redfin. In a special report released Thursday, the firm paired various billionaires with cities that each billionaire could hypothetically buy. From the report: Just how rich is Bill Gates? According to Forbes, he’s the world’s richest person and is worth $77.5 billion. But that kind of wealth is hard to wrap your head around, so let’s put it another way: Gates could buy every single home in the entire city of Boston. That’s 114,212 single-family homes, condos and townhouses, at a total purchase price of $76.6 billion. For instance, the Walton family, of Walmart fame, could theoretically buy all of the 241,450 homes in Seattle, for a total price tag of $111.5 billion, while the Koch brothers could buy Atlanta's 286,629 homes at the bargain price of $78.1 billion. To put that in perspective, the median household net worth in the United States is at a 43-year low of $68,828 (including home equity), according to the U.S. Census Bureau—barely enough to buy just one home (with a mortgage) in any of these cities.

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Ethan Corey is a writer and researcher based in New York. His work has appeared in The Nation, Rolling Stone and MEL magazine.
Democratic Rep. Summer Lee, who at the time was a candidate for the state House, at a demonstration in Pittsburgh for Antwon Rose, who was killed by police, in 2018. Lee recently defeated her 2024 primary challenger.
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