Half of world's wealth now in hands of 1% of population, report says

Half of world's wealth now in hands of 1% of population, report says

PanARMENIAN.Net - 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, The Guardian said.

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 – 109m – than the 92m in the U.S.

Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Credit Suisse, said: “Middle class wealth has grown at a slower pace than wealth at the top end. This has reversed the pre-crisis trend which saw the share of middle-class wealth remaining fairly stable over time.”

The report shows that a person needs only $3,210 to be in the wealthiest 50% of world citizens. About $68,800 secures a place in the top 10%, while the top 1% have more than $759,900. The report defines wealth as the value of assets including property and stock market investments, but excludes debt.

About 3.4 bn 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 383m adults – 8% of the population – has wealth of more than $100,000. This number includes about 34m U.S. 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.

The report said: “Wealth inequality has continued to increase since 2008, with the top percentile of wealth holders now owning 50.4% of all household wealth.”

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