The Top 7 Dividend Aristocrats by Yield: May 2024

Dividend aristocrats are stocks that raise their dividends every year. Here’s an overview of how to invest in them.
Sam Taube
By Sam Taube 
Updated
Edited by Pamela de la Fuente Reviewed by Michael Randall

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If you're looking for ways to increase your income, dividend-paying stocks can be good contenders.

The S&P 500 index returned 129.95% over roughly the last twenty years without accounting for dividends. But if you had reinvested all of the dividends paid by the stocks in the index during that time, the return would've jumped up to 235.65%.

That said, there is a group of stocks within the S&P 500 that pays dividends much more reliably than other companies. That group is called the dividend aristocrats.

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What is a dividend aristocrat?

A dividend aristocrat is an S&P 500 stock that has increased its dividend every year for at least 25 years.

Increasing its dividend means the company increased the dollar value of dividends per share. The dividend aristocrats don't necessarily need to increase their dividend yields over time. (Dividend yield is a percentage calculated by dividing the last 12 months of dividends per share by the current share price. It fluctuates with the market.)

» Check out our roundup of the best online brokers for dividend investing

There are 66 dividend aristocrats today, and they’re a diverse bunch. They’re distributed across many different parts of the economy, including the health care, consumer staples, financial and industrial sectors.

However, they do have a couple of things in common. The first is that they’re established — to meet the 25-year-dividend-raiser criteria, they must have been a publicly traded company for at least 25 years. You won't find any stock market newcomers such as Tesla among the dividend aristocrats.

Second, they are all large-cap stocks. To be dividend aristocrats, they must be S&P 500 companies, and in order to be S&P 500 companies, they must have a market capitalization of at least $13.1 billion.

The top 7 dividend aristocrats list

Below is a list of the top seven dividend aristocrats ordered by current dividend yield. This table is updated weekly.

Ticker

Company

Dividend Yield

WBA

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc

10.25%

O

Realty Income Corp.

6.09%

BEN

Franklin Resources, Inc.

5.44%

AMCR

Amcor Plc

5.14%

FRT

Federal Realty Investment Trust.

4.48%

TROW

T. Rowe Price Group Inc.

4.28%

CVX

Chevron Corp.

4.17%

Source: Finviz. Data is current as of May 29, 2024, and is for informational purposes only.

» Check out our roundup of the best online brokerages for stock trading

Dividend kings vs. aristocrats

Stocks that have increased their dividends for at least 50 years are sometimes called "dividend kings."

Unlike dividend aristocrats, dividend kings don't need to be S&P 500 companies. Most are — and are therefore aristocrats as well as kings — but a few aren't.

Still, the dividend kings are a smaller and more exclusive group than the dividend aristocrats — hence the name. While there are more than 60 dividend aristocrats at the time of writing, there are less than 50 dividend kings.

How to invest in dividend aristocrats

If you're new to investing and want to buy the dividend aristocrats, the first step is to open a brokerage account if you don't already have one.

Then you'll need to choose between investing in individual dividend aristocrat stocks, or investing in a dividend aristocrats fund.

Theoretically, individual stocks can beat funds and market indexes — but they can also be risky. It's important to research stocks you're intending to buy, and that can be time-consuming if you're considering a lot of individual stocks. It can also be expensive to buy shares of a large number of individual stocks.

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Dividend aristocrats ETFs

If you’re looking to gain exposure to the dividend aristocrats, but don’t want to spend the time and money to buy the individual stocks, you could consider buying exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, that contain dividend-raising stocks instead.

The shares shown above have a combined market price of thousands of dollars — a steep purchase for most investors.

On top of that, it’s wise to research an individual stock before you buy it, and the time cost of researching 25 individual stocks — or even a smaller group — could be substantial.

The ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF is the only one that strictly tracks the 66 official S&P 500 dividend aristocrats. There are a variety of other high-dividend ETFs that contain similar groups of stocks that consistently raise their dividends over time.

Ex-dividend dates

If you own a dividend-paying stock or ETF there is a date on which you have to be registered as a shareholder in order to actually receive your next dividend payment. This is called an ex-dividend date. If you bought a stock on or after its ex-dividend date, you wouldn't get the next dividend.

» Don't forget about taxes: Learn more about dividend tax rates.

Research any company or ETF you're looking into to make sure you know when the ex-dividend date is before you buy or sell.

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» Learn more about investing in index funds

The complete list of dividend aristocrats

Below is a list of all 66 dividend aristocrats in the S&P 500 index.

Symbol

Company Name

NEE

NextEra Energy Inc.

CVX

Chevron Corp.

SHW

The Sherwin-Williams Co.

JNJ

Johnson & Johnson

CB

Chubb Ltd.

ABT

Abbott Laboratories

IBM

IBM Corp.

NDSN

Nordson Corp.

SPGI

S&P Global Inc.

APD

Air Products & Chemicals Inc.

ADP

Automatic Data Processing

MKC

McCormick & Co.

AFL

AFLAC Inc.

HRL

Hormel Foods Corp.

EMR

Emerson Electric Co.

LOW

Lowe's Companies Inc.

KMB

Kimberly-Clark Corp.

ADM

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.

BDX

Becton Dickinson & Co.

ALB

Albemarle Corp.

TROW

T. Rowe Price Group Inc.

BRO

Brown & Brown Inc.

ROP

Roper Technologies Inc.

MMM

3M Co.

O

Realty Income Corp.

AMCR

Amcor plc

ED

Consolidated Edison Inc.

FRT

Federal Realty Investment Trust

CL

Colgate-Palmolive Co.

BEN

Franklin Resources Inc.

ATO

Atmos Energy Corp.

SYY

Sysco Corp.

GD

General Dynamics Corp.

SWK

Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

WMT

Walmart Inc.

BF/B

Brown-Forman Corp.

CAT

Carterpillar Inc.

XOM

Exxon Mobil Corp.

CTAS

Cintas Corp.

PG

The Procter & Gamble Co.

KO

The Coca-Cola Co.

WBA

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

SJM

The J.M. Smucker Co.

MCD

McDonald's Corp.

CAH

Cardinal Health Inc.

PEP

Pepsico Inc.

EXPD

Expeditors International of Washington Inc.

TGT

Target Corp.

CHRW

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.

CHD

Church & Dwight Co. Inc.

MDT

Medtronic plc

PPG

PPG Industries Inc.

ITW

Illinois Tool Works

ESS

Essex Property Trust Inc.

GPC

Genuine Parts Co.

ABBV

AbbVie Inc.

ECL

Ecolab Inc.

DOV

Dover Corp.

LIN

Linde plc

PNR

Pentair plc

AOS

A.O. Smith Corp.

CLX

Clorox Company

CINF

Cincinatti Financial Corp.

NUE

Nucor Corp.

GWW

W.W. Grainger Inc.

WST

West Pharmaceutical Services

Neither the author nor editor held positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.
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