Each year, the Aristocrats lists are updated. The dividend aristocrats are a group of US companies showing 25 consecutive years of dividend increases. When you think about it, only the strongest companies can make this list. In order to be part of this elite group, a company must be in a good position to increase both their sales and earnings year after year on a very consistent basis. If one fails to do so, it will quickly become impossible to raise its dividend. Canadians also have their dividend aristocrats, but the criteria used for selection is fairly different.