America’s Instagram Influencers: Which Celeb Earns The Most In Each State?

How much a celebrity makes on Instagram each year depends on their follower count, perceived clout, business acumen — and the number of times they’re willing to use that #ad tag.

To find out which ones are earning the most in every state in the categories of sport, acting and music, Bored Panda analyzed over 90,000 Instagram posts from 850 celebrities and estimated their annual earnings.

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Which American Celebrities Earn The Most From Instagram Each Year?

Kevin Hart is America’s Mr. Sponsored Instagram Post, earning an estimated $28,119,986 last year across 26 ads. The actor-comedian has around 180 million Instagram followers and often uses the platform to promote his own brands, including Gran Coramino tequila, VitaHustle and the Hart House vegan restaurant. In contrast, Mark Wahlberg earned an estimated $15,510,686, despite making 88 sponsored posts — Wahlberg has ‘just’ 29.4 million followers, 16% of Hart’s follower count. The three Jenner/Kardashians among America’s top five celebrity Instagram earners have more followers than Hart but post far fewer ads.

The Top Instagram Earner from Every State

A celebrity doesn’t need to be from a big state to be a big earner — but the big showbiz states of California and New York boast Kylie Jenner ($16,816,086) and Jennifer Lopez ($9,130,949) as their top Instagram earners, respectively. These are among 12 states with million-dollar Instagram celebrities. South Carolina also has one of the top earners, in the form of “Outer Banks” and “Glass Onion” actor Madelyn Cline. The Goose Creek-born star is a global brand ambassador for Revlon — having gotten her big break in a Chuck E. Cheese TV commercial.

The American Sports Stars That Earn the Most from Instagram Per Year

Three generations of basketball players make up the three top-earning American athletes on Instagram. LeBron James has 1.76 times as many followers as Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal combined but is second in earnings to Steph Curry, who posts 3½ times as many ads. Golden State Warriors point guard Curry earned an estimated $7,502,807 from Instagram ads last year. NBA players Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson and Chris Paul also made the top ten.

Which American Actor Earns the Most Yearly From Instagram?

Posting once a fortnight on average — 2.5 times the average frequency of the top 10 actors — actor-comedian Kevin Hart is the highest-earning American actor on Instagram (see Which American Celebrities Earn The Most Yearly From Instagram, above). Hart, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson are the big hitters ahead of a long tail of lower (yet still seven-figure) earners. Johnson’s $9.5 million earnings come from just four sponsored posts, though he also promotes his own brands to his 400 million followers and has reportedly been paid $1 million per post to push his own movies. “Marketing is truly one of my passions – especially on a global scale,” says Johnson.

The American Musicians That Earn the Most From Instagram Per Year

J-Lo supplements her artistic income with an estimated sum of $9,130,949 annually across just half a dozen ads to her 253.7 million Instagram followers. Sponsored posts include spots for Intimissimi and Virgin Voyages. However, she also uses the platform to promote her own drink and cosmetics lines. With around 85 million fewer followers than J-Lo, Cardi B earned an estimated $6 million with the same number of sponsored posts. Beyonce made just one sponsored ad last year for Verizon at an estimated fee just short of $2 million.

Pocket Money for Millionaires

The indivisibility of stars from the products they promote predates the dawn of the sponsored post: Look at Rihanna, who rose to fame through strategic partnerships with brands like Totes and Nike before Instagram was even a thing.

But now that they have an always-on channel of communication with their fans, celebrities don’t need to sully their artwork with brand allusions — they can just slot their sponsors’ goods into their lifestyles. In a culture that’s increasingly about the hustle, can you blame these millionaires for boosting their income with the occasional seven-figure sponsored post?


We started this study by identifying the most notable and most followed celebrities in each state, resulting in a list of 850 U.S. celebrities across the nation.

To calculate each celebrity’s estimated yearly earnings, we multiplied their number of disclosed ads in the previous 12 months (April 2023 to March 2024) by the estimated amount each celeb can charge per sponsored post.

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  • To determine the cost per sponsored post, we used data from Hopper HQ’s annual Instagram Rich list, which sources data from the individuals’ marketing teams. For celebrities not covered by the Hopper HQ report, we calculated the cost per follower for celebrities in different categories (e.g., sports, music, etc.) and used this to determine their cost per sponsored post.
  • To calculate the number of disclosed ads, we analyzed 90,000+ Instagram posts across 850 celebrities from April 2023 to March 2024. We found 2,687 of those were sponsored across 419 celebs. We isolated sponsored posts by focusing on those with “paid partnership” tags and hashtags denoting ads (e.g., #ad, #sponsored, #brandpartner, #brandambassador). We removed sponsored posts from companies owned by the celebrities themselves.
  • To estimate the cost per follower, we trained a Random Forest Regression model with the data from Hopper HQ. We calculated the cost per follower by dividing the cost per post by the number of followers. Then, we tested different parameters via a cross-validated grid search, selecting the ones that performed best on the data. We considered the account category and location as one-hot encoded variables. Finally, we assigned the train categories on the accounts and estimated the cost per follower of each user on the sponsored post as a function of their location (U.S.), their category and their number of followers.

This data analysis was completed in April 2024.

The post America’s Instagram Influencers: Which Celeb Earns The Most In Each State? first appeared on Bored Panda.

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