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1% of the human population now holds half of the world’s wealth

Reuters/Yuriko Nakao
  • Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

During the first debate between Democratic candidates for the US presidential nomination, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders thundered about America’s “rigged economy.” It is wrong, he underlined, “that 57% of all new income is going to the top 1%.” But this gap is not just an American problem.

According to a new report from Credit Suisse, half of the world’s wealth lies in the hands of 1% of its population.

You only need $3,210 (and no debt) to join the world’s richer half. To be in the top 10%, you need $68,800 in the bank, and $759,900 to be in the top 1%, the report says.

Back in 2009, these richest of rich held 44.2% of global wealth. Since then, the 1%’s holdings have grown about 6%, and now encompass more than half of global wealth. And as the millionaires gained, the middle class lost ground.”While the number of millionaires has risen quickly, median wealth has stagnated since the financial crisis,” the report says.

It also indicates that the Chinese middle class has overtaken the American middle class for the first time in terms of size, with 109 million middle class individuals in China and only 92 million in the US.

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