ASX shares paid out a record $98b in dividends in the 12 months to March. Which are the star performers?

ASX 200 mining shares are leading the pack when it comes to dividends.

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A happy construction worker or miner holds a fistfull of Australian money, indicating a dividends windfall

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Key points

  • ASX investors received $97.9 billion in dividends over the 12 months ended 31 March – besting the market's previous 12 month record of $9.3 billion, according to research by Janus Henderson
  • The record-breaking payouts were led by ASX miners, with BHP retaining its crown as the world's biggest dividend payer
  • In fact, of the top 20 ASX dividend paying shares of the period, 19 call the ASX 20o home

A record-breaking $97.9 billion of dividends made their way to those invested in ASX shares over the 12 months ended 31 March.

That’s 5.3% more than the market’s previous ASX 12-month record, according to research by Janus Henderson Group (ASX: JHG).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, of the top 20 ASX dividend payers of the period, 19 are S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) constituents. Additionally, mining shares are overrepresented when it comes to ASX dividend payouts.

Here are the stocks proven to be Australia’s biggest dividend payers.

Here are the ASX’s top dividend-paying shares

ASX shareholders, rejoice! Australia is one of the few nations to see dividend payments surpass pre-COVID-19 levels.

The global reopening and sky-high commodity prices boosted ASX dividends over the 12 months ended March. In fact, mining companies accounted for $1 in every $2 of dividends handed to investors over that period.

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) has come in as the biggest dividend payer – handing shareholders $10.8 billion of dividends in the first quarter of 2022 alone.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) came in second despite dropping its interim dividend by 42% in February.

Luckily that drop was partially made up by a higher payout from Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO).

Outside of the S&P/ASX 200 Materials Index (ASX: XMJ), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) dividend led the pack. It was lifted by 17% in February.

CBA’s big bank peers Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), National Bank of Australia Ltd (ASX: NAB), and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) followed. Others included:

New Zealand’s Meridian Energy Ltd (ASX: MEZ) was the only non-ASX 200 share to make the list. It rounded out the top 20 dividend shares of the 12 months ended March.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET, Telstra Corporation Limited, and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Macquarie Group Limited and Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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