(16 October 2015) – Global inequality is growing, with half the world’s wealth now in the hands of just 1% of the population, according to a new report by Credit Suisse.
The middle classes have been squeezed at the expense of the very rich, according to research by Credit Suisse, which also finds that for the first time, there are more individuals in the middle classes in China (109 million) in the US (92 million). The report defines wealth as the value of assets including property and stock market investments, but excludes debt.
The report shows that a person needs only $3,210 (€2,820) to be in the wealthiest 50% of world citizens. About $68,800 (€60,461) secures a place in the top 10%, while the top 1% have more than $759,900 (€667,732). About 3.4 billion people – just over 70% of the global adult population – have wealth of less than $10,000. A further 1bn – a fifth of the world’s population – are in the $10,000-$100,000 range.
Each of the remaining 383 million adults – 8% of the population – has wealth of more than $100,000. This number includes about 34m US dollar millionaires. About 123,800 individuals of these have more than $50m, and nearly 45,000 have more than $100m. The UK has the third-highest number of these “ultra-high net worth” individuals.
At the start of 2015, Oxfam had warned that 1% of the world’s population would own more wealth than the other 99% by next year. Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s chief executive, said: “The fact it has happened a year early – just weeks after world leaders agreed a global goal to reduce inequality – shows just how urgently world leaders need to tackle this problem. (EurActiv)