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3 charts that show the world's richest 1% keep getting richer

The wealth of the super-rich is 'beyond grotesque', Oxfam says

Niamh McIntyre
Monday 16 January 2017 14:41 GMT
These eight men have more money than 50% of the world's population

The eight richest billionaires are now worth as much as the poorest half of the world's population, a new report by Oxfam has found. Researches found that the top 1% are getting richer at such "an astonishing rate" that the world could see its first trillionaire in just 25 years.

Meanwhile, 1 in 10 people survive on just 2 US dollars a day. Researchers estimated that three-quarters of this kind of extreme poverty could be eliminated immediately using existing resources, by increasing taxation and cutting down on military and other regressive spending.

1. In the US, the incomes of the top 1% have soared, while wages for the bottom 90% have stagnated

This chart shows the increase in incomes for the top 1% and the bottom 90% since 1978. The top 1% saw their wages increase by 140% on average, while for the bottom 90% the increase was just 15.2% over the same period.

2. The world's eight richest individuals own more wealth than half of the world's population combined

The elite group, which includes tech entrepreneurs Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos, have a net wealth of $426 billion, making them richer than 3.6 billion people combined. The chart shows their net worth, in billions, compared to countries whose gross domestic product is of a similar size.

3. The ten largest global corporations have revenue greater than that of the government revenue of 180 countries combined

The world's 10 biggest corporations – a list that includes WalMart, Shell and Apple – have a combined revenue greater than the government revenue of 180 poorest countries combined, in a list which includes Ireland, Indonesia, Israel, Colombia, Greece, South Africa, Iraq and Vietnam. You can explore the full interactive version here.

Oxfam said under its calculations, which were based on the Forbes billionaires list and Credit Suisse global wealth distribution data, just under 10% of the world's poorest were in debt.

That included a "tiny fraction" of workers who may be earning good salaries but were paying off debts such as student loans or were in negative equity.

The number of billionaires who owned the same as half the world went up to 56 if everyone in net debt was taken out of the calculation.

But the charity said that most in the bottom half of the world's population were very poor and faced a daily struggle to survive.

Mr Goldring said: "Extreme inequality isn't inevitable - with the right policies, world leaders can rebalance our broken economies so they work for all of us and bring the end of poverty closer.

"We need a new common sense approach that ensures a fair deal for workers and producers; requires those who can afford it to pay their fair share of tax; and ensures that women get a fair chance to realise their potential.

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