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Richest one percent to own 50 percent of world’s wealth: Oxfam

Posted by feww on January 19, 2015

Updated January 20, 2015

80 richest people wealthier than the bottom half of world population

World’s richest 1% owned 48% of global wealth in 2014, with the remaining 52% shared between the other 99% of adults on the planet. “Almost all of that 52% is owned by those included in the richest 20%, leaving just 5.5% for the remaining 80% of people in the world,” says Oxfam, a British-based “anti-poverty”organization, in a new report.

percent share global wealth oxfam report
Share of global wealth of the top 1% and bottom 99% respectively; Credit Suisse data available 2000–2014. Source: Oxfam report/ WEALTH: HAVING IT ALL AND WANTING MORE

The top 1% are projected to have more than 50% of total global wealth by 2016,according to data collated by Credit Suisse.

Wealth of the 80 richest people in the world has doubled in nominal terms in the 6 year-period between 2009 and 2014, while the wealth of the bottom 50% has decreased over the same period.

These 80 individuals have more wealth than the combined wealth of the bottom 50% of the global population (more than 3.5 billion people).

In 2010, the number of richest individuals who owned same amount of wealth as bottom half of the world’s population was 388.

“Global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite.  The richest 1% of adults in the world have been increasing their share of total global wealth.” says the report.

oxfam report
Number of billionaires it takes to have accumulated the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50% of the global populationSource: Oxfam report/ WEALTH: HAVING IT ALL AND WANTING MORE

“The very richest of the top 1%, the billionaires on the Forbes list, have seen their wealth accumulate even faster over this period. In 2010, the richest 80 people in the world had a net wealth of $1.3tn. By 2014, the 80 people who top the Forbes rich list had a collective wealth of $1.9tn; an increase of $600bn in just 4 years, or 50% in nominal terms. Meanwhile, between 2002 and 2010 the total wealth of the poorest half of the world in current US$ had been increasing more or less at the same rate as that of billionaires; however since 2010, it has been decreasing over this time.”

The number of richest people in the world has more than doubled since the financial crisis, up from 793 in March 2009 to 1,645 in March 2014. Their  aggregate net worth is $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion just a year ago, according to Forbes.

“This group of people is far from being globally representative. Almost 30% of them (492 people) are citizens of the USA,” said Oxfam.

What’s NOT immediately obvious in the Oxfam report is that one percent of a tiny fraction of the world population (about 0.00000001, or one in 100million people) have a monopoly over economic and political power (absolute power).

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