The Global 1%
The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world’s population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.
The charity’s research shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% last year.
On current trends, Oxfam says it expects the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016.
The charity said the research, published on Monday, showed that 52% of global wealth not owned by the richest 1% is owned by those in the richest 20%.
The remaining population accounts for just 5.5% of global wealth, and their average wealth was $3,851 (£2,544) per adult in 2014, Oxfam found.
That compares with an average wealth of $2.7m per adult for the elite 1%.
The data excludes wages or income.
The BBC’s head of statistics, Anthony Reuben, said in order to be part of the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population, an individual would need to be worth just over half a million pounds.
“So it is not necessarily talking about people who own yachts and ski chalets. Owning an average house in London (without a mortgage) would just about put you in the 1%. ”
He also noted that Oxfam had chosen to use figures which showed the disparity between the 1% and the rest of the world in the worst light.
“From 2000 until 2009, the proportion of wealth held by the wealthiest 1% fell every year. From 2010 until 2014 it rose every year. Oxfam has taken the figures since 2010 and used them to extrapolate what will happen in the coming years. Clearly, that is the methodology that will make inequality look the most severe,” he added.
Also at the link: the obligatory list of really, really rich dudes.