The Dividend Aristocrats 2021 are U.S. stocks that that have grown their dividend for 25+ years in a row. But that alone does not qualify a stock as a Dividend Aristocrat. In order to be included on the list a company must meet four criteria:
- Be a member of the S&P 500
- Have raised the regular dividend per share for 25 consecutive years
- Have a market capitalization of at least $3 billion
- Average at least $5 million in daily share trading value for the three months prior to the rebalancing date
- Minimum number of constituents must be 40 at each rebalancing date. A particular Global Industry Classification Standard or ‘GICS’ should not results in one sector comprising more than 30% of the index weight
The index is updated quarterly in January, April, July, and October.
For this reason, a Dividend Aristocrat can also be a Dividend Champion but not vice-versa. It is also the reason why there are more Dividend Champions than Dividend Aristocrats. These stocks can be found in the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index. There are currently 65 constituents of the index, as of September 30, 2021.
These companies have survived periods of inflation, stock market crashes, global crises and deep recessions. They may not have grown revenue and earnings per share every year, but they annually raised the dividend without fail for 25 years straight. Hence, this list serves as a starting point for small investors seeking to research potential ideas.
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Performance Update of the Dividend Aristocrats 2021
The Dividend Aristocrats 2021 currently (as of September 30, 2021) has a yield of about 2.44% and the average forward price-to-earnings ratio is approximately 17.35X. The mean market capitalization is roughly $84,434 million and the median market capitalization is roughly $44,601 million. The market cap ranges between approximately $5,977 million to $425,146 million. The total market capitalization is approximately $5,488,190 million.
In 2020, the Dividend Aristocrats provided a total return of 8.68%. This was the lowest return since 2019 and the fourth lowest return in the past decade. The price return was 5.68%. This performance was relatively poor considering the strong positive market returns of most U.S indices. There was only one Dividend Aristocrat whose dividend was cut or suspended. Much of the poor return was likely caused by high sector weighting of stocks in cyclical sectors that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a group, the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats have exhibited solid returns with low volatility. Over the past 10 years, the Dividend Aristocrats have had an annualized total returns of 14.49% and a standard deviation of 12.84% while the benchmark (the S&P500 Index) has had an annualized total returns of 14.84% and a standard deviation of 13.59%. Over the past 5-years, the Dividend Aristocrats have had an annualized total return of 13.64% with a standard deviation of 14.8%, while the benchmark has had annualized total returns of 16.16% and a standard deviation of 17.65%.
The table below the calendar year performance from 2011 to 2020.
Impending Changes to the Dividend Aristocrats in 2021
On January 22, 2021, the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that the list would be changes with an effective date of February 1, 2021. Three stocks will be added to the list and three will be deleted from the list. The three stocks that were added are International Business Machines (IBM), NextEra Energy (NEE), and West Pharmaceutical Services (WST). The three companies that were deleted were Carrier Global (CARR), Otis Worldwide (OTIS), and Raytheon Technologies (RTX). This will have the effect of adding zero net names to the list for a total of 65 stocks.
Additions to the Dividend Aristocrats in 2020
The list is updated at least annually and was updated on January 24, 2020. There were seven additions and no deletions as seen in the table below, which will be effective on February 3, 2020.
On March 31, 2020 the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that the list will change due United Technologies Corp. (UTX) merging with Raytheon. The new company is called Raytheon Technologies Corp. (RTX). As part of the transaction Otis Worldwide Corporation (OTIS) and Carrier Global Corporation (CARR) were spun off. All three companies will remain in the index. See the announcement below.
Deletions to the Dividend Aristocrats in 2020
On June 23, 2020 the S&P 500 Dow Jones Indices announced that Ross Stores (ROST) will be deleted from the index. The change was effective July 1, 2020.
Other Dividend Stock Lists
Note that it is possible for a company to be a Dividend Aristocrat and also a Dividend King. Dividend Kings have raised the dividend for at least 50 consecutive years. The other lists of U.S. stocks are below.
- List of Dividend Kings in 2021
- List of Dividend Champions in 2021
- List of Dividend Contenders in 2021
- List of Dividend Challengers in 2021
- Dogs of the Dow in 2021
For Canadian stocks I have recently updated my article on
For UK stocks I have an article on
Other dividend stock lists
Some Details on the Dividend Aristocrats 2020
The list of Dividend Aristocrats 2021 is a fairly select list since there now are only 65 companies. This is out of about 6,000 companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges (NASDAQ and NYSE) at end of 2020. So, this is about 1.1% of stocks in these two exchanges.
Dividend Aristocrats Sector Breakdown
Stocks from the Industrials sector have the greatest representation on the list of Dividend Aristocrats 2021 at about 20.4%. This class of stocks tend to have somewhat more volatile earnings and cash flows but many have low payout ratios letting them grow the dividends during recessions and economic downturns. The second sector with high representation is Consumer Staples at approximately 19.7%. This is likely due to relatively stable earnings and cash flow characteristics of these stocks. In addition, these companies tend to slowly grow earnings over time permitting annual dividend increases. The third sector on the list is the Materials sector at 12.4%. Combined these three sectors make up the majority of the Dividend Aristocrats at 52.5%.
There are only three Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in the Dividend Aristocrats 2021. These are Essex Property Trust (ESS), Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT), and Realty Income (O). The list does not include any Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs).
The sector breakdown for the Dividend Aristocrats 2021 is seen in the chart below as of September 30, 2021. The sector composition has changed with time due to changes in the S&P 500 index composition. Additionally, the Great Recession caused many previous Dividend Aristocrats to freeze or even cut their dividend. These mostly financial stocks were dropped from the list of Dividend Aristocrats affecting the sector composition. A few industrial stocks were also dropped from the list at the time. In fact, between 2009 and 2010 nineteen companies were dropped from the list of Dividend Aristocrats.
The sector ranking for the Dividend Aristocrats 2021 is unlike the Canadian Dividend Aristocrats, which have Financial, Utilities, and Industrials as the top three sectors. It is also unlike the UK High Yield Dividend Aristocrats that has Financial, Consumer Staples, and Real Estate as the top three sectors.
Dividend Aristocrat Sector Weighting as Function of Time
The sector weight as a function of time is seen in the chart below. One can clearly see the drop off in percentage of financials stocks during the Great Recession. The percentage of utility stocks also dropped off during this time, which may be surprising to some. But one must remember that most utilities have high payout ratios, and many entered the unregulated market before the Great Recession. The economic downturn pressured revenue and earnings leading to dividend cuts for some utilities. The other interesting point is that consumers staples and industrials percentages are growing with time since end of 2005. Today, they constitute about 29% of the Dividend Aristocrats 2021.
Market Size of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats 2021
The largest Dividend Aristocrat by market capitalization is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) with a market capitalization of roughly $452.6 billion. The smallest Dividend Aristocrat is Leggett & Platt (LEG) with a market capitalization of about $6.42 billion. Combined the 65 Dividend Aristocrats have a total market capitalization of over $5 trillion.
The one with the highest forward yield is AT&T (T) and the one with the lowest yield is Roper Technologies (ROP). Dover Corp (DOV), Procter & Gamble (PG), and Genuine Parts Company (GPC)are the Dividend Aristocrats with longest streak of consecutively increasing the dividend at 65 years.
Who’s On Deck?
There are two companies S&P 500 index that have raised the dividend for 24 years at the moment. This includes Cardinal Health (CAH) and Church & Dwight (CHD).
List of Dividend Aristocrat Stocks in 2021 – Updated September 30, 2021
The Dividend Aristocrat 2021 list serves as a screen for further investigating a stock for a dividend growth portfolio. It is a list of companies with stable businesses that have competitive advantages and have returned cash to shareowners consistently through dividends and in some cases buybacks.
Dividend Yield (%)
Payout Ratio (%)
10-yr Dividend Growth Rate (%)
|ABT||Abbott Laboratories||8||1.5%||45.4%||-0.7%||32.9||$ 207,206|
|ADM||Archer-Daniels Midland||46||2.3%||35.4%||8.8%||15.6||$ 35,782|
|ADP||Automatic Data Processing||46||1.8%||60.7%||10.0%||33.6||$ 86,129|
|AOS||A.O. Smith||28||1.6%||37.4%||21.8%||23.7||$ 10,212|
|APD||Air Products & Chemicals||39||2.2%||63.7%||10.1%||30.5||$ 59,486|
|ATO||Atmos Energy||37||2.8%||46.4%||6.3%||16.9||$ 11,653|
|BDX||Becton, Dickinson||49||1.4%||51.3%||7.3%||37.3||$ 67,727|
|BEN||Franklin Resources||41||3.7%||57.0%||12.9%||12.4||$ 15,054|
|CAH||Cardinal Health||26||4.0%||93.2%||9.1%||23.4||$ 13,823|
|CINF||Cincinnati Financial||61||2.1%||13.9%||4.5%||6.8||$ 19,141|
|ED||Consolidated Edison||47||4.2%||n/a||2.6%||22.5||$ 26,121|
|EMR||Emerson Electric||64||2.1%||51.1%||3.9%||24.1||$ 56,300|
|ESS||Essex Property Trust||27||2.6%||134.4%||7.2%||52.6||$ 21,219|
|EXPD||Expeditors International||27||1.0%||18.7%||9.4%||19.9||$ 19,607|
|FRT||Federal Realty Investment||54||3.5%||215.2%||4.6%||62||$ 9,481|
|GD||General Dynamics||30||2.4%||39.7%||9.9%||17.7||$ 56,712|
|GPC||Genuine Parts||65||2.6%||57.0%||6.3%||22.4||$ 18,070|
|GWW||W.W. Grainger||50||1.6%||37.9%||10.1%||25.4||$ 21,552|
|HRL||Hormel Foods||55||2.3%||60.5%||14.8%||26.5||$ 22,743|
|ITW||Illinois Tool Works||58||2.3%||54.0%||12.9%||25.4||$ 67,362|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||59||2.7%||60.6%||6.4%||24.1||$ 421,854|
|LEG||Leggett & Platt||50||3.7%||53.8%||4.2%||15.1||$ 6,033|
|LOW||Lowe’s Companies||59||1.5%||26.7%||18.7%||21.5||$ 144,613|
|MKC||McCormick & Co||22||1.7%||46.8%||9.2%||27.8||$ 20,985|
|NEE||NextEra Energy||27||2.0%||91.9%||10.8%||48.8||$ 152,683|
|O||Realty Income||27||4.2%||284.1%||5.0%||69.1||$ 26,384|
|PBCT||People’s United Finl||29||4.1%||100.4%||1.5%||24.7||$ 7,591|
|PG||Procter & Gamble||65||2.4%||57.0%||5.1%||25.9||$ 345,597|
|PPG||PPG Industries||50||1.6%||33.7%||7.0%||23.8||$ 36,044|
|ROP||Roper Technologies||28||0.5%||21.7%||17.9%||45.1||$ 47,736|
|SPGI||S&P Global||48||0.7%||28.1%||11.7%||42.1||$ 103,265|
|SWK||Stanley Black & Decker||54||1.8%||24.7%||6.3%||15.6||$ 28,483|
|TROW||T. Rowe Price Gr||35||2.2%||31.0%||13.2%||15.4||$ 44,222|
|WBA||Walgreens Boots Alliance||46||4.0%||70.8%||9.6%||18.3||$ 41,017|
|WST||West Pharmaceutical Servs||28||0.2%||9.5%||7.2%||59||$ 29,854|
|XOM||Exxon Mobil||38||5.7%||n/a||6.7%||–||$ 260,617|
I used Stock Rover* for creating this table.
Div. Record Date
Dividend Payment Date
Next Div. Payment Per Share
Annual Dividend Per Share
|ADP||Automatic Data Processing||9/9/21||9/10/21||10/1/21||$0.93||$3.72|
|APD||Air Products & Chemicals||9/30/21||10/1/21||11/8/21||$1.50||$6.00|
|ESS||Essex Property Trust||9/29/21||9/30/21||10/15/21||$2.09||$8.36|
|FRT||Federal Realty Investment||9/21/21||9/22/21||10/15/21||$1.07||$4.28|
|ITW||Illinois Tool Works||9/29/21||9/30/21||10/14/21||$1.22||$4.88|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||8/23/21||8/24/21||9/7/21||$1.06||$4.24|
|LEG||Leggett & Platt||9/14/21||9/15/21||10/15/21||$0.42||$1.68|
|MKC||McCormick & Co||10/8/21||10/12/21||10/26/21||$0.34||$1.36|
|PBCT||People’s United Finl||7/29/21||8/1/21||8/15/21||$0.18||$0.73|
|PG||Procter & Gamble||7/22/21||7/23/21||8/16/21||$0.87||$3.48|
|SWK||Stanley Black & Decker||9/3/21||9/7/21||9/21/21||$0.79||$3.16|
|TROW||T. Rowe Price Gr||9/14/21||9/15/21||9/29/21||$1.08||$4.32|
|WBA||Walgreens Boots Alliance||8/19/21||8/20/21||9/10/21||$0.48||$1.91|
|WST||West Pharmaceutical Servs||7/20/21||7/21/21||8/4/21||$0.17||$0.68|
Prior Year Lists and Articles
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Prakash Kolli is the founder of the Dividend Power site. He is a self-taught investor, analyst, and writer on dividend growth stocks and financial independence. His writings can be found on Seeking Alpha, InvestorPlace, Business Insider, Nasdaq, TalkMarkets, ValueWalk, The Money Show, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and leading financial sites. In addition, he is part of the Portfolio Insight and Sure Dividend teams. He was recently in the top 1.0% and 100 (73 out of over 13,450) financial bloggers, as tracked by TipRanks (an independent analyst tracking site) for his articles on Seeking Alpha.