The richest 1% now own a staggering portion of the world's wealth


Anti-poverty advocates on Tuesday implored world leaders to combat the massive wealth gap described in the annual Global Wealth Report released by Credit Suisse, which showed that the world's richest one percent own just over half of the global wealth. By estimates, the report said adding that 1,820 adults have wealth over $ 50 million, and 760 have more than $ 100 million.

"Looking at the bottom of the wealth distribution, 3.5 billion people - corresponding to 70 percent of all adults in the world - own less than 10,000 US dollars", said the report.

At the other extreme, the poorest half of Earth's population - 3.5 billion people - own just 2.7 per cent of global wealth.

For example, it found, "Most Chinese adults are found in the upper middle section of global wealth distribution", with the country accounting for 9 percent of the top tenth of the global population by wealth. And the wealth outpaced population growth to a record high of $56,540 per adult.

And since year 2000, the number of millionaires globally has increased 170 percent, while the number of people with more than $30 million to their name has ballooned five-fold to around 45,000 worldwide, the study showed.

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Introducing the report, Urs Rohner, chairman of Credit Suisse, said: "Those with low wealth tend to be disproportionately found among the younger age groups, who have had little chance to accumulate assets, but we find that millennials face particularly challenging circumstances compared with other generations".

The future may, however, be rosier for those with less wealth, according to the report.

The rise in the stock market is the biggest reason for the gains, which in turn were driven by both stronger underlying economic conditions and the prospect of lower taxes and deregulation, Credit Suisse reported.

According to the eighth edition of the Global Wealth Report, in the year to mid-2017, total global wealth rose at a rate of 6.4 per cent, the fastest pace since 2012 and reached United States dollars 280 trillion.

The report noted fluctuations in asset prices and exchange rates account for much of the change in household wealth across regions and countries in the short run.