This Independence Day, Americans celebrate the founding of our country, and the people who founded it. This includes several of the men who would become president: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, and of course, George Washington. These individuals who made our country what it is today also happened to be some of the wealthiest who have ever served in office, and could afford the arguably modest salary for a position of its importance. But over the years, this has not always been the case.
Since 2001, the annual salary for the position of President of the United States has been fixed at $400,000. That figure, which is set by Congress, has been raised only five times since the birth of our nation (there are no automatic raises or cost-of-living bumps). Fringe benefits for a modern-day president include a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, $100,000 to redecorate the White House, and $50,000 in annual expenses, among other extras. (Here’s a complete list of the best perks of being the U.S. president.)
That doesn’t mean that earlier chief executives exactly suffered financially. George Washington’s annual salary of $25,000 was equivalent to over $700,000 in today’s dollars. In any case, in America’s early days, presidents tended to be well-off before they took office – at least in part because only property-owning white men were allowed to vote, and they tended to elect the wealthy. While there have been some middle-class presidents in the intervening years, many contemporary commanders-in-chief are also in quite good financial shape, having earned (or inherited) extravagant wealth before taking office. (Read a quick family history of every U.S. president.)
To identify the net worth of every US president from Washington to Biden, 24/7 Wall St. drew on a number of historical and contemporary sources, then adjusted the figures for inflation, as of 2023 using the Consumer Price Index drawn from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Economic Data.
Click here to see the the net worth of every American president from Washington to Biden
Because a number of presidents, particularly in the early 19th century, made and lost huge fortunes in a matter of a few years, we’ve provided each president’s net worth at its peak.
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