Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

S&P 500's Best Dividend Aristocrats

Investors looking for stability and payout growth should look closer at Dividend Aristocrat stocks.

By Jason Hall – Updated Feb 9, 2023 at 5:18PM

A Dividend Aristocrat is a company in the S&P 500 index that has paid -- and increased -- its base dividend every year for at least 25 consecutive years.

S&P Dow Jones Indices, which owns the S&P 500 index, reviews the list of qualifying companies every year and updates the list of companies that carry Dividend Aristocrat status. Their impressive track records of growth make Dividend Aristocrats some of the most attractive dividend stocks to own.

An infographic explaining the criteria required to become a dividend aristocrat.
Image source: The Motley Fool

Dividend Aristocrats list

As of Jan. 5, 2023, there were 64 Dividend Aristocrats. Here's the full list, sorted by how many consecutive years each has increased its dividend:

Data as of Jan. 5, 2023. Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices and company filings. *According to best available data. **29-year streak as of dividend payable on Nov. 19, 2022.
Company Sector Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth
Dover (NYSE:DOV) Industrials 67
Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) Consumer discretionary 66
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) Consumer staples 66
Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) Industrials 66
3M (NYSE:MMM) Industrials 64
Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) Financials 61
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) Consumer staples 60
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Healthcare 60
Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) Consumer staples 59
Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) Industrials 58
Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) Consumer staples 56
Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) Industrials 55
Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) Real estate 55
Sysco (NYSE:SYY) Consumer staples 53
W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) Industrials 51
Becton, Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:BDX) Healthcare 51
PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) Materials 51
Target (NYSE:TGT) Consumer discretionary 51
AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) Healthcare 51
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Healthcare 50
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) Consumer staples 50
PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) Consumer staples 49
Nucor (NYSE:NUE) Materials 50
S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) Financials 49
Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM) Consumer staples 49
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Consumer staples 49
VF Corp. (NYSE:VFC) Consumer discretionary 49
Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) Utilities 48
Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) Consumer discretionary 48
Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) Information technology 48
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) Consumer staples 47
Pentair (NYSE:PNR) Industrials 46
McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) Consumer discretionary 46
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) Healthcare 45
Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) Materials 44
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) Financials 41
Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) Materials 40
Amcor PLC (NYSE:AMCR) Materials 40
ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) Energy 40
Aflac (NYSE:AFL) Financials 39
Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS) Industrials 39
Brown-Forman (B Shares) (NYSE:BF.B) Consumer staples 38
Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE:ATO) Utilities 38
McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) Consumer staples 37
T. Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ:TROW) Financials 36
Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) Healthcare 36
Clorox (NYSE:CLX) Consumer staples 36+*
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) Energy 35
A.O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) Industrials 31
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) Materials 31
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) Healthcare 30
Roper Technologies (NYSE:ROP) Industrials 30
Linde (NYSE:LIN) Materials 29
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) Industrials 29**
Chubb (NYSE:CB) Financials 29
Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ:EXPD) Industrials 29
Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) Financials 29
Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) Materials 28
Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) Real estate 28
Realty Income Corporation (NYSE:O) Real estate 28
International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) Information technology 28
NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE:NEE) Utilities 28
Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) Consumer Staples 26
General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) Industrials 25

There's also a Dividend Kings list. To be a Dividend King, a company has to have boosted its dividend every year for an incredible 50 years in a row, but it does not have to be in the S&P 500.

Dividend Aristocrats changes for 2023

There were a few changes in 2022. AT&T (T 0.38%) was removed following a dividend cut, while People's United Financial was acquired. Brown & Brown (BRO 0.33%) and Church & Dwight (CHD 0.11%) were added early in the year.

For 2023, there don't appear to be any companies on track to be added to the index by reaching the 25-year-dividend-growth streak, but there's always the chance a company loses eligibility. S&P Dow Jones Indices typically announces changes for the year in late January.

How Dividend Aristocrats are selected

S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats List Requirements
Image source: The Motley Fool.

The standards make it difficult for companies to get on the list. But once a company makes the list, it is likely to stay.

Below are the four criteria to become (and remain) a Dividend Aristocrat:

  1. Be a member of the S&P 500.
  2. Increase the per-share base dividend (excluding special dividends) every year for at least 25 consecutive years.*
  3. Have a minimum float-adjusted (excluding "closely held" shares owned by insiders or founders) market capitalization of at least $3 billion.
  4. Average at least $5 million in daily share trading value for the preceding three months.

*Note: The index managers can add companies that don't meet all of the criteria for sector exposure purposes.

When is the Dividend Aristocrats list updated?

The Dividend Aristocrats list is updated periodically by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

  • Every January, companies are added and removed based on the requirements.
  • At the beginning of each quarter, the index is reweighted, meaning the size of each constituent is reset so they all make up an equal percentage of the index.
  • On rare occasions, a stock may lose Dividend Aristocrat status.

Although the Dividend Aristocrat index doesn't change much, more companies tend to lose their status during recessions. In 2009 and 2010, 19 total companies (half of which were banks or financial institutions) fell off the list after cutting dividends due to the global financial crisis.

NOBL vs SPX since inception 11-15-22
Image source: YCharts.

So why would investors still look at the S&P Dividend Aristocrats?

When it comes to dividend growth, Dividend Aristocrats absolutely shine. The Dividend Aristocrats Index has increased the dividend payout much faster than the S&P 500 since the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF paid its first dividend in early 2014.

Is there a Dividend Aristocrats index fund?

The ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF is a low-cost index fund that makes it simple to own the full Dividend Aristocrats list.

People looking for a simple, low-cost way to invest in the entire Dividend Aristocrats universe should give this exchange-traded fund (ETF) consideration. 

Are Dividend Aristocrats good investments?

Historically speaking, yes, but it depends on what you're looking for from your investment. The pros of investing in Dividend Aristocrats include:

  • Reliability: Fans of dividend investing appreciate a reliable source of income.
  • Industry leaders: These companies tend to be industry leaders with reliable cash flow and a track record of impressive annual returns.
  • Reduced volatility: Dividend Aristocrats are less volatile than the broader market.

That being said, in recent history, Dividend Aristocrats as a group have underperformed the S&P 500 in total returns. The chart below shows how the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL -0.59%) index fund has performed in total returns -- which includes dividends -- since its inception in late 2013:

NOBL Dividends since inception
Image source: YCharts.

For investors looking to maximize dividend growth, Dividend Aristocrats remain compelling.

Related Dividend Stocks Topics

Should you buy individual Dividend Aristocrat stocks?

Your long- and short-term objectives, as well as the kinds of companies you want to own, come into play. 

If you're looking for immediate income, you may want to avoid companies with lower dividend payouts. If long-term growth is your focus, you may be better off buying Dividend Aristocrats with higher growth prospects, even if they have lower dividend payouts.

Whether you're looking to pick individual stocks to suit your investing style and goals or for other reasons, such as socially responsible investing goals, Dividend Aristocrats can be an excellent starting point for finding the best-in-class dividend growth stocks.

Jason Hall has positions in Realty Income and Walgreens Boots Alliance. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Abbott Laboratories, Amcor Plc, Emerson Electric, Linde Plc, NextEra Energy, ProShares Trust - ProShares S&p 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, S&P Global, Target, and Walmart. The Motley Fool recommends 3M, A. O. Smith, Aflac, Becton, Dickinson And, Cintas, Ecolab, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe's Companies, McCormick, Roper Technologies, and Sherwin-Williams and recommends the following options: long January 2024 $47.50 calls on Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over Half a Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 03/24/2023.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.