How Much of the World's Wealth Do the Richest People Have?

They say that money makes money, and the rich just keep getting richer. That's certainly true these days, as the richest 1% in the world are expected to soon own more than 50% of all global wealth. Oxfam International recently presented the startling facts about income inequality at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The rise for those in that exclusive 1% has been swift. The amount of wealth controlled by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014 -- amounting to a staggering $2.7 million in the pockets of each mega-wealthy adult. If this trend continues, the global elite will hold at least 50% of the world's wealth by 2016.

Income inequality has been rising steadily for the last 40 years. In the 1970s, the fortunate few held less than 10% of all wealth. Since then, the gap between the rich and "the rest" has grown due to stagnant wage growth, a less progressive tax structure, a changing job market, and low savings rates.

More on the world's wealthiest people:

  • In the U.S., the wealthiest 160,000 families own as much as the poorest 145 million families, combined.

  • About 20% of the world's billionaires make their money in the financial and insurance sectors.

  • Oxfam is concerned that powerful lobbying by the ultra-rich will block any meaningful global tax reform.

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More Info: Oxfam, Fortune Magazine

Discuss this Article

Post 2

Republicans are paid by lobbyists to keep representing the interests of the upper 1/10 of 1 percent. Don't believe them!

Post 1

The game of monopoly is getting old. Can we live a cooperative life and together strive for a better world? The corporate world will eventually destroy this planet Earth, and is akin to cancer. It ultimately doesn't serve anyone, including its host, the riches. The riches depend on the serfs to serve them. Then why not allow for healthy and striving serfs? Soon all that is necessary will be automated, and jobs will become unimportant. The age of leisure where creativity can flourish can begin. It's time we moved things forward.

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