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Richest 0.5% Own 46% of Globe’s Wealth: Study

Tuesday 14 November 2017
Richest 0.5% Own 46% of Globe’s Wealth: Study

Alwaght- The globe’s richest 0.5% own 46% of the world’s wealth, according to a new report highlighting the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else.

According to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday, there are 36 million dollar-millionaires across the world –less than 0.5% of the world’s population – who control 46% of total global wealth that now stands at $280tn.

The report also reveals that world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017, or $140tn.

“The share of the top 1% has been on an upward path ever since [the crisis], passing the 2000 level in 2013 and achieving new peaks every year thereafter,” the annual report said.

At the other end of the spectrum, the world’s 3.5 billion poorest adults each have assets of less than $10,000, Credit Suisse says adding,  collectively these people, who account for 70% of the world’s working age population, account for just 2.7% of global wealth.

The report said the poor are mostly found in developing countries, with more than 90% of adults in India and Africa having less than $10,000. “In some low-income countries in Africa, the percentage of the population in this wealth group is close to 100%,” the report said. “For many residents of low-income countries, life membership of the base tier is the norm rather than the exception.”

Meanwhile, more than two-fifths of the world’s millionaires live in the US, followed by Japan with 7% and the UK with 6%.

While the global population of millionaires has grown considerably, the number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) – those with a net worth of $50m or more – has increased even faster. “The number of millionaires has increased by 170% [since 2000], while the number of UHNWIs has risen five-fold, making them by far the fastest-growing group of wealth-holders,” the report said.

Most of the new UHNWIs have been created in the US, but 22% come from emerging economies, notably China.

The biggest losers, the report says, are young people who should not expect to become as rich as their parents. “Those with low wealth tend to be disproportionately found among the younger age groups, who have had little chance to accumulate assets,” Urs Rohner, Credit Suisse’s chairman, said. 

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