JK Rowling Net Worth: Accio $1 Billion

The JK Rowling net worth figure will hit $1 billion in 2017, though it currently sits at $848 million from the hugely successful Harry Potter franchise. The author’s bedtime story-inspired creation has earned her very close to $2 billion since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hit shelves in 1996, though taxes and expenses have taken more than half of that. Potter has earned Rowling over $850 million in book deals, $770 million in movie deals and $350 million in merchandise. Investments add another $220 million. Rowling’s latest movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will scurry into theaters on 11/8/16. Rowling would be a billionaire already if not for $160 million in charitable donations.

JK Rowling Net Worth Facts

JK Rowling Net Worth Facts
JK Rowling net worth$848,521,956
JK Rowling net worth vs Stephen King net worthTwice as big
JK Rowling net worth vs Kylie Jenner net worth76 times bigger
JK Rowling net worth vs Donald Trump net worth6 times smaller
JK Rowling net worth vs Kim Kardashian net worth6 times bigger
JK Rowling net worth vs YouTube worth101 times smaller
JK Rowling net worth vs Taylor Swift net worth3 times bigger
JK Rowling net worth vs Hillary Clinton net worth27 times bigger
JK Rowling net worth vs Bill Gates net worth94 times smaller
JK Rowling net worth vs typical American family net worth12479 times bigger

The JK Rowling net worth sum of $848 million is a lot more than many celebrities have and a lot less than a few. The ability to sell lots of books that get made into lots of hit movies has put Rowling at the low end of the billionaire scale. Rowling’s net worth is twice as big as heavy hitting author Stephen King’s reported net worth of $400 million. It’s 76 times as big as teen model Kylie Jenner’s net worth of $11.2 million and six times bigger than Jenner’s sister Kim Kardashian’s net worth of $150 million. Rowling has three times more wealth than pop diva Taylor Swift with $309 million and 27 times more money than presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at $32 million. Looking at the billionaire set, Donald Trump has six times more net worth than JK Rowling with $5.18 billion. Bill Gates has 94 times more with $80 billion, but he’s the world’s richest living person so he has more than everyone. In fact all of YouTube is worth only about 8% more money than Gates.

JK Rowling Net Worth Timeline

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JK Rowling Net Worth Timeline

JK Rowling Net Worth by Year
JK Rowling net worth 1996$16,223,429
JK Rowling net worth 2001$126,814,871
JK Rowling net worth 2004$228,552,769
JK Rowling net worth 2007$351,785,268
JK Rowling net worth 2011$578,287,317
JK Rowling net worth 2012$628,844,227
JK Rowling net worth 2013$681,069,515
JK Rowling net worth 2014$735,018,238
JK Rowling net worth 2015$790,947,268
JK Rowling net worth 2016$848,521,956

JK Rowling net worthThe chart above shows the JK Rowling net worth story over time. The line extends to 2017 and 2018, showing Rowling’s wealth climbing over $1 billion by 2018. The progression of Rowling’s wealth is a 20-year tale of seven Harry Potter books and eight movies, plus over a dozen written works and the new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The runaway success of the first book resulted in a major movie deal with  Warner to produce the $125 million Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which brought in $975 million at the worldwide box office, 27th highest grossing film of all time. Since then, the seven book series unfolded at the rate of just under a book a year. The movies came out about every other year, though the last three films were released in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Through that time, Rowling saw a steady stream of DVD rental and purchase income, plus merchandise royalties from everything from toy wands to chess sets, tee shirts, costumes, wall art and even a toy sorting hat.

JK Rowling Net Worth Breakdown

JK Rowling Net Worth Sources: Books, Movies Merchandise

The chart above shows how the JK Rowling net worth pie gets divided up. Nearly 40% comes from book deals at $$851 million. Another 35% comes from movies, split between box office deals and rentals/DVD sales for a total of $770 million. Merchandise and investment income make up the rest. The table below gives straight numbers, with total earnings of $1.95 billion. That gives Rowling an average salary of nearly $100 million per year. That’s enough to stuff a vault at Gringotts. So far in 2016, even without  any income from her Fantastic Beasts movie figured in yet, Rowling is already guaranteed earnings of over $78 million. So far she has paid estimated taxes of $888 million and expenses of $296 million. According to the New York Times, the seven book series has sold over 450 million copies to date. That’s more copies than there are people in the United States.

JK Rowling Net Worth Sources
Book deals$851,730,000
Movie Deals$513,023,626
Video Sales$260,000,000
Total JK Rowling Earnings$1,974,753,626
JK Rowling Salary (average)$94,035,887
JK Rowling Salary 2016$78,683,571
Charitable Donations-$160,000,000
JK Rowling Net Worth$848,521,956

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JK Rowling Net Worth from Book Deals: $850 Million

Book deals pump over $850 million into the JK Rowling net worth numbers. Rowling has sold roughly 450 million Harry Potter books for total estimated revenue of $7.74 billion. Other Rowling books like the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child bring in another $774 million. Figuring Rowling’s earnings at 10% after fees for publication, distribution and marketing gives Rowling earnings of $851.7 million from sales of novels and other books. That’s a paycheck of over $40 million a year for 21 years, without the movies figured in. The books in the hugely successful Harry Potter Franchise are in the list below.

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Each of the books above brought in an estimated $1.1 billion in total sales and earned Rowling $110 million. Rowling’s books continue to sell extremely well and provide royalty income for the author. To this day, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (now renamed Sorcerer’s Stone) sits at #69 of Amazon.com’s bestseller list. In case you’re wondering, the Cursed Child script is #1 and the full box set of all seven books is #100.

JK Rowling Net Worth from Book deals
Estimated Book Sales of the Harry Potter franchise$7,743,000,000
Estimated book sales of other novels$774,300,000
Total Estimated Sales$8,517,300,000
Period of release of all the novels1996 - 2016
Number of years21
Estimated share of JK Rowling10.00%
Estimated earnings of JK Rowling from the novels$851,730,000
Yearly Estimated earnings$40,558,571

JK Rowling Net Worth from Movie Deals: $770 Million

JK Rowling Net Worth from MoviesBetween deals for big screen releases of her movies and video sales, the JK Rowling net worth figure has benefitted from $770 million in movie income. The table below shows the worldwide box office numbers for all eight movies. Rowling sold the film rights to the first book for $2 million in 1998. She didn’t release the exact percentage of sales agreement she hammered out with Warner, but we’ve estimated that at a reasonable 5% for the first film, scaling up to 8% for the last. That gives Rowling a healthy $513 million from big screen income, plus another $260 million from the video market. The movies have amassed $5.2 billion in reported worldwide video sales and rentals. Assuming Rowling gets 5% of that gives us our $260 million figure. that’s $16.25 million a year for 16 years, just from DVDs. The eight movies earned close to $1 billion each at the worldwide box office, with the final installment making $1.34 billion. That puts it as the #8 best grossing movie of all time, behind Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Avengers, Furious 7 and Age of Ultron.

JK Rowling Net Worth from Movie Deals
YearMovie ReleaseWorldwide SalesJK Rowling Earnings (5%-8%)
1998Purchase of Film Rights$2,000,000
2001Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone$974,755,371$48,737,769
2002Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets$878,979,634$43,948,982
2004Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban$796,688,549$43,817,870
2005Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire$896,911,078$49,330,109
2007Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix$939,885,929$65,792,015
2009Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$934,416,487$74,753,319
2010Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows$960,283,305$76,822,664
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows$1,341,511,219$107,320,898
2015The Casual Vacancy (TV Series, BBC)$500,000
Total JK Rowling Net Worth from Movie Deals$513,023,626

JK Rowling Net Worth from Merchandise: $350 Million

JK Rowling Merchandise Money

Your very own invite to Hogwarts. Guaranteed to add no more than $34.95 to JK Rowling’s net worth.

Merchandise forms a significant portion of the JK Rowling net worth numbers. Since 2001, Harry Potter merchandise has sold a total of $7 billion. Assuming Rowling gets a 5% cut of that money gives her $350 million or $21.87 million per year. The official Harry Potter Shop has an astoundingly deep line of Harry Potter bits and bobs for sale, including wands and other replica movie props, all sorts of clothing and nearly every piece of Potterphrenalia imaginable. Shoppers can browse by House, choosing Gryffindor gear or Slytherin stuff for example. Choosing one of the houses is just like shopping from a college store’s website. There are all sorts of sports socks, jerseys, robes, shirts, hats flip flops and hoodies, all emblazoned with the Gryffindor logo. There are mugs, wands, swords, earrings and mouse pads. All in all the page sells 136 items, just from Gryffindor. The other three houses all have similar pages, plus there’s a general Hogwarts page that sells bedding, luggage, figurines, games and wall art. Fans of the series can even buy a personalized Hogwarts acceptance letter, though trying to use a forgery to get into the actual school will probably result in the bearer’s being turned into a clabbert.

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How Charity Lowers JK Rowling’s Net Worth

Charitable donations estimated at $160 million sink the JK Rowling net worth total down below $1 billion. Without those donations, Rowling would be worth $1.08 billion today. Rowling’s gifts are to organizations that fight poverty, children’s welfare, multiple sclerosis and illiteracy. She has donated the proceeds of three of her books entirely to charity: The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them and Quidditch Through the Ages. Those books together account for about $30 million for charity. The Telegraph quoted Rowling as saying, “I think you have a moral responsibility, when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”

How Accurate Are Our JK Rowling Net Worth Figures?

The truth about the JK Rowling net worth data published online is that Rowling is a private individual and does not share her net worth with the public. Further, details of her exact percentages for book, movie and merchandise deals aren’t revealed to the public either. Even details on the numbers of copies of each book sold are rough estimates. What we’ve done is to look at the box office figures and the best sales figures from around the web and put our best-guess Rowling percentage numbers up against those total earnings reports. We place a margin of error on our results of plus or minus $150 million. In other words, it’s entirely likely that Rowling is “only” worth $700 million or is worth as much as $1 billion.

JK Rowling Net Worth Calculations

The table below shows the JK Rowling net worth math by year. Rowling’s total earnings for books, movies and merchandise are added up in column two. Taxes, expenses and investments are rolled into column three and net worth is shown in the final column. Rowling pays the UK’s top tax rate of 45% per year, which gives her a total career tax bill of $888.6 million. Expenses are figured at 15% of her income per year for cost of living, agent fees and other expenses. Investment income is calculated at a conservative 6% per year or $218.6 million. The negative taxes and expenses overwhelm the positive investments in that column.

JK Rowling Net Worth Calculations
YearJK Rowling Total EarningsAdjustments (Tax, Expense, Investment)JK Rowling Net Worth
JK Rowling Net Worth Totals$393,917,857-$123,683,218$848,521,956

If you liked reading about JK Rowling’ net worth, try this post about Donald Trump’s true net worth or this one about Taylor Swift’s net worth. All JK Rowling net worth data in this article are based on our analysis of income streams, tax, expense and investment calculations, estimates and media reports and are provided here for entertainment purposes only.


New York Times JK Rowling Net Worth from Book Sales