Study: World’s Richest 1% Will Own More Wealth Than Bottom 99% By 2016

January 19, 2015 2:49 pm

The world’s richest 1 percent will own more wealth than the bottom 99 percent combined by next year, according to a new study released Monday by Oxfam.

In 2014, the wealthiest one percent owned 48 percent of the overall wealth, while everyone else had 52 percent combined. Their share of the wealth has steadily risen in recent years and is poised to surpass 50 percent by 2016, the study found.

The last six years have been very kind to the richest of the rich. In one data point to illustrate this staggering trend, the wealth of the top 80 people was a collective $1.9 trillion in 2014, doubling (not adjusted for inflation) since 2009.

Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent had less wealth in 2014 than they did in 2009.

“Global wealth is increasingly being concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite,” the report concluded. “These wealthy individuals have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and pharmaceuticals/healthcare. Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further.”

The findings by Oxfam, an international organization which aims to mitigate global poverty, rely on Credit Suisse global wealth data and the annual Forbes billionaire list. The full report is available at this link.

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