The 1 Percent Now Have Half the World's Wealth

The world’s top 1 percent richest people own half its wealth. Creative commons

The richest 1 percent of the world's population owns more than half of household wealth, with their share skyrocketing since the global financial crisis, a new report says.

The annual Global Wealth Report, published Tuesday by Credit Suisse, points out that while the top 1 percent and 10 percent of the world's richest saw their share of wealth decline between 2001 and 2008, the trend swung the other way after the financial crisis.

"From 2013 onwards, the share of the top 5 percent has been above the level observed at the start of the century, and the share of the top 1 percent is now significantly above what we estimate for 2000," the report said.

"While the bottom half of adults collectively own less than 1 percent of total wealth," the report adds, "the richest decile (top 10 percent of adults) owns 88 percent of global assets, and the top percentile alone accounts for half of total household wealth."

"Once debts have been subtracted, a person needed only $3,582 to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens in mid-2017," it said.

"However, $76,754 is required to be a member of the top 10 percent of global wealth holders, and $770,368 to belong to the top 1 percent."

Meanwhile, the report highlights stark disparities in the concentration of wealth across different regions.

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.

"In contrast, residents of India remain heavily concentrated in the bottom half of the distribution, accounting for more than a quarter of the members," the report said. Similarly, Africa is highly concentrated at the bottom of the distribution: "More than 40 percent of African adults belong to the lowest two global wealth deciles."