62 People Own Same Wealth as Half the World


Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.

The report, An Economy for the 1%, outlines how the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population –more than 3.6 billion people - has fallen by a trillion dollars (41 percent) since 2010. Meanwhile the wealth of the richest 62 people has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76 trillion.AN ECONOMY FOR THE 1%.

The gap between rich and poor is reaching new extremes. Credit Suisse recently revealed that the richest 1% have now accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together.

This occurred a year earlier than Oxfam’s much publicized prediction ahead of last year’s World Economic Forum. Meanwhile, the wealth owned by the bottom half of humanity has fallen by a trillion dollars in the past five years. This is just the latest evidence that today we live in a world with
levels of inequality we may not have seen for over a century. 

‘An Economy for the 1%’ looks at how this has happened, and why, as well as setting out shocking new evidence of an inequality crisis that is out of control. Oxfam has calculated that:

• In 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people – the bottom half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010.

• The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44% in the five years since 2010 – that's an increase of more than half a trillion dollars ($542bn), to $1.76 trillion.

• Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom half fell by just over a trillion dollars in the same period – a drop of 41%.

• Since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has received just 1% of the total increase in global wealth, while half of that increase has gone to the top 1%.

• The average annual income of the poorest 10% of people in the world has risen by less than $3 each year in almost a quarter of a century. Their daily income has risen by less than a single cent every year.

“Power and privilege are being used to rig the system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest of us to levels we have not seen before. Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being pulled upwards at an alarming rate,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “While such extreme inequality is bad for all of us, it’s the poorest among us who suffer the grimmest consequences.”

0 comments