Now more than ever, retirees and other income investors are looking for ways to increase their dividends. One way to keep dividend income rising is to peruse the Dividend Aristocrats and Dividend Kings List. These lists include stocks that have increased their dividends for decades.

The Dividend Aristocrats List includes stocks in the S&P 500 that have not only paid but increased their dividends for at least 25 straight years. The consistency in dividend growth is no small feat. For instance, only about 65 stocks currently meet the criteria.

Even more prestigious is the Dividend Kings List. Dividend Kings extend the 25-year threshold for Dividend Aristocrats to at least 50 years of dividend increases. The more exclusive group of Dividend Kings includes companies from the Aristocrats list but leaves only 44 stocks that have reached 50 years or more.

Being on either list does not guarantee that a stock will stay on the list forever. In addition, it does not mean a stock’s dividend yield will suit an investor’s taste. However, increasing annual dividend income is a great way to fight inflation for folks who use dividends to pay their everyday expenses.

The longevity of dividend growth for the stocks on the Dividend Kings list could mean the stocks have a competitive advantage over other companies in their industries. Plus, there have been several recessions over the last 50 years. The fact that Dividend Kings have increased their dividends during recession years could mean they can do it again.

Let’s take a closer look at the stocks on the Dividend Kings List.

Thre are many top stocks on the Dividend Kings List

Best Dividend Kings List

Some Dividend Kings have been on the list for over a decade, and some have just graduated to the Dividend Kings List from the Aristocrats List. Below is a current Dividend Kings List, including consecutive Years on the List and a short description.

Hall of Famers: Stocks on the Dividend Kings List for Ten Years or More

These stocks are pushing for a level beyond Dividend Kings.

  • American States Water (NYSE: AWR) – 67 years – Water utility company
  • Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV) – 66 – Industrial manufacturer
  • Northwest Natural Holdings (NYSE: NWN) – 66 – Natural gas utility company
  • Genuine Parts (NYSE: GPC) – 66 – Maker of parts for used cars
  • Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) – 65 – Electrical products for home, businesses, and automation
  • Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG) – 65 – Consumer products like diapers, toilet paper, toothpaste, and more
  • Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH) – 65 – Focuses on industrial tech
  • 3M (NYSE: MMM) – 64 – Chemical company famous for Post-Its, Scotch tape, and industrial adhesives
  • Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ: CINF) – 62 – Financial company offering insurance and annuities
  • Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) – 60 – Branded soft drink known for its namesake soda
  • Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL) – 60 – Global consumer staples company

Major Leaguers: Veteran Stocks on The Dividend Kings List

These stocks are well-established Dividend Kings.

  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) – 59 – Drug maker
  • Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) – 59 – Home improvement and construction retailer
  • Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ: LANC) – 59 – Food Maker focused on bread, frozen and non-frozen foods
  • Nordson (NYSE: NDSN) – 58 – Makes chemicals and industrial coatings
  • Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (OTC: FMCB) – 58 – Community bank in California
  • Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL) – 56 – Famous for food products like Skippy peanut butter and SPAM
  • California Water Service (NYSE: CWT) – 55 – Water company serving markets mainly in California.
  • Stepan (NYSE: SCL) – 55 – Chemical company
  • Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) – 54 – Tool company with brands like DeWalt, Craftsman, and Black & Decker
  • Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) – 54 – Retail real estate company structured as a REIT
  • SJW Group (NYSE: SJW) – 54 – Water company serving Silicon Valley and San Antonio
  • Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ: CBSH) – 54 – Bank with branches in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma
  • ABM Industries (NYSE: ABM) – 54 – Building services company focused on janitorial, parking, and other services
  • Sysco (NYSE: SYY) – 52 – Wholesale food distribution company
  • B. Fuller (NYSE: FUL) – 52 – Global chemical company
  • Altria Group (NYSE: MO) – 52 – Cigarette company
  • Black Hills Corp (NYSE: BKH) – 51 – Electric and gas utility company
  • National Fuel Gas (NYSE: NFG) – 51 – Energy company with oil and gas pipelines
  • Universal Corporation (NYSE: UVV) – 51 – The world’s largest leaf tobacco company

Rookies: New to The Dividend Kings List in 2022

These stocks have either made their 50th straight annual dividend or expect to pay it in 2022.

  • PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) – 50 – One of the world’s largest paint makers
  • Target (NYSE: TGT) – 50 – Global consumer goods retailers
  • Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) – 50 – Maker of drugs and medical devices
  • Becton, Dickinson & Company (NYSE: BDX) – 50 – Global medical supply company
  • Kimberly Clark (NYSE: KMB) – 50 – Paper company that makes toilet paper, diapers, and other products
  • MSA Safety (NYSE: MSA) – 50 – Maker of safety products for workers
  • Tennant (NYSE: TNC) – 50 – Maker of cleaning and coating products
  • Nucor (NYSE: NUE) – 50 – One of the largest steel makers in the US
  • PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) – 50 – Maker of Pepsi soda and other beverages

Dividend Kings List – Minor Leagues

Several long-term dividend-paying stocks could move up to the big leagues in the next few years. They may offer dividend increases comparable to the Dividend Kings in the years to come. There is no need to wait for a stock to hit the Dividend Kings List for it to be a great stock to buy.

  • S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) – 49 – Financial services provider
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE: ADM) – 49 – Global food company
  • Walmart (NYSE: WMT) – 49 – One of the largest retailers of consumer goods in the world
  • VF Corp (NYSE: VFC) – 48 – Maker of outdoor apparel and shoes like Vans and The North Face
  • McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) – 45 – World-famous fast-food restaurant brand known for its Big Macs
  • Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) – 45 – Medical device company

One could argue that the Dividend Kings list is just something someone made up, and being on the list doesn’t mean anything. For instance, stock can easily fall off the Dividend Kings List also. The criteria could change, but longevity is huge for long-term investors. Being included on the list is a tremendous accomplishment.