Skip to navigationSkip to content

If the world’s wealthiest 1% had a members’ club, it would look like this

Silhouette of people wearing top hats
Reuters/Toby Melville
Exclusive access.
By Jason Karaian
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s hard to consider a club with 48 million members as exclusive, but this one is. That’s how many people make up the richest 1% of humanity, who together collectively control half of the world’s total wealth, according to Credit Suisse. The other 7.3 billion or so make do with the other half.

Anyone with net assets—stocks, bonds, property, land, gold bars—worth $744,400 or more is a member of the global 1%, according to the bank’s latest calculations. This group now owns 51% of the world’s wealth, up from 45% in 2009.

The biggest shift in the top 1% in recent years has been in the growing ranks of wealthy Chinese in the club; 5% of the 48 million are now in China, up from 1% in 2010.

Here’s another way to think of the global elite—if the 1% were 100 people, they would be…

38 Americans, 10 Japanese, seven Brits, five Chinese, five French, five Germans, four Australians, four Canadians, four Italians, two Koreans, two Swiss, one Austrian, one Belgian, one Brazilian, one Dane, one Indian, one Dutch, one New Zealander, one Norwegian, one Singaporean, one Spaniard, one Swede, one Taiwanese, and six people with a mish-mash of different backgrounds.

Or, put another way…

42 people from North America, 32 from Europe, 25 from Asia-Pacific, one from Latin America… and none from Africa.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.