Forbes’ Celebrity 100: A Numerical Analysis


Forbes has just released its annual Celebrity 100, a list of the most powerful celebrities in the world. As culture junkies, we spent the morning poring over the fascinating (if slightly reductive) document. Since we had been wondering about how the list broke down by gender, race, age, and career, we actually sat down with pencil and paper to crunch the numbers. The results of our hard work — and some other interesting observations about the Celeb 100 — are after the jump.

Gender: Male: 64 Female: 35 Mixed: 1 (Black-Eyed Peas)

Age: Under 30: 17 Over 60: 11

Race: Black: 14 White: 81 Asian/Pacific Islander: 1 (Boxer Manny Pacquiao, #55) Latino: 2 (Eva Longoria Parker and George Lopez, both in the bottom 10)

Claim to fame: Actors/comedians: 34 Musicians: 22 Athletes: 18 TV personalities: 12 Filmmakers: 5 Models: 3 Authors: 3 Radio personalities: 2 Producers: 1 (Damn you, Jerry Bruckheimer!)

Observations: 1. The two most powerful celebrities in the world are black women: Oprah and Beyoncé. 2. While only 35 of the Celeb 100 are women, ladies make up six of the top ten. 3. Sandra Bullock (#8) is the top actor on the list, just ahead of Johnny Depp (#9). 4. The most powerful celebrity couple is Beyoncé (#2) and Jay-Z (#15). Sorry, Brangelina! 5. Bruce Springsteen (#17) is the highest ranked celeb over 60. 6. Is a sex scandal good for your career? The two biggest athletes on the list, Tiger Woods (#5) and Kobe Bryant (#14) don’t seem to be suffering much… Amid his year of scandal 7. Guess who the most powerful woman over 60 is? On second thought, don’t even try to guess: It’s Judge Judy (#72), who beat out Meryl Streep (#79). 8. Stephenie Meyer (#59) isn’t the most powerful author in the world; this year, it’s James Patterson (#53). 9. Something else for Team Coco to fret about: Jay Leno is #34 on the list, while Conan only made #51. 10. Last year, Oprah (#1; $315 mil) earned almost as much as the other five women in the top ten combined ($326). 11. Avatar director James Cameron is at #3, but his Academy Award-winning ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, didn’t make the list at all. 12. Has the student surpassed the teacher? Lady Gaga (#4) is higher ranked and made more money last year than Madonna (#10).