2% Own Half World Wealth: UN

In a demonstration of the discrepancy in the distribution of wealth, a new UN study has revealed that two percent of people own half of the world's wealth, leaving very little for the vast majority of the global population.

2% Own Half World Wealth: UN

"The super-rich are even more grotesquely rich than 50 years ago," said Anthony Shorrocks, Director of the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER).

"The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth," the UNU-WIDER said in the most comprehensive study of personal wealth ever undertaken.

The elite of 1 percent of people alone owned 40 percent of global assets in the year 2000, and the richest 10 percent of adults accounted for 85 percent of the world total, said the most comprehensive study of personal wealth ever undertaken.

In contrast, the bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1 percent of global wealth.

Shorrocks said if the world's population was reduced to a group of 10 people, one person would hold $99 and the remaining nine would share $1.

There have been many studies of worldwide wealth inequality, but the new study is marked by its coverage.

It deals with all countries in the world - either actual data or estimates based on statistical analysis - and it focuses on wealth, where most previous research has looked at income.

The study define "wealth" in its long-established sense of net worth. It is what people own, less what they owe - their debts.

This include land, buildings, animals and financial assets.

Established in 1985, the UNU-WIDER undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on structural changes affecting the living conditions of the world's poorest people.



The Helsinki-based institute said the study reveals the glaring gap of the wealth mass between countries. 

The Helsinki-based institute said the study reveals the glaring gap of the wealth mass between countries.

"Wealth inequality for the world as a whole is higher still," the study insists.

It found that wealth is heavily concentrated in North America, Europe and high-income Asia-Pacific countries like Australia and Japan.

"People in these countries collectively hold almost 90 percent of total world wealth."

Americans have amassed much of the world's treasure, according to the report.

In 2000, the US accounted for 4.7 percent of the world's population but 32.6 percent of the world's wealth.

Nearly 4 out of every 10 people in the wealthiest 1 percent of the global population are American.

Europe and high income Asia-Pacific countries also own disproportionate amounts of wealth.

On the other side, the overall share of wealth owned by people in Africa, China, India, and other lower income countries in Asia is considerably less than their population share.

At the bottom of the poorest nations' list came countries such as the Congo and Ethiopia.

Experts said there was only limited data available and the study is based on figures from 2000.

A more recent year would have involved more widening gap especially for developing countries.

Source: IOL Staff

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16