Super-rich are getting even richer, shows new World Wealth Report, with world’s poorest left behind

Today’s World Wealth Report from Capgemini shows that times have never been better for the world’s wealthiest - since 2009 more than 4.5 million new millionaires have been created, rising to a total of 15.4 million millionaires across the world last year. Yet while the wealthy prosper, 702 million people living in extreme poverty are being left behind due to a broken economic system, warned a global alliance of major organisations including ActionAid, Greenpeace International, International Trade Union Confederation and Oxfam.

Jenny Ricks of the Fight Inequality Alliance said: “For every person with more than $30 million, there are over 4800 people living in extreme poverty. This gross inequality is a symptom of an unjust and unfair economic system that allows the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor.

“Last year the wealth of the richest totalled $58.7 trillion, which is over 150 times the size of the economies of all of the world’s poorest countries combined. This shows the extent money and power are concentrated in the hands of the wealthiest few.”

The report also reflects on how Capgemini have failed to predict the growing anger across the world towards those with extreme wealth, faced with rapidly rising inequality and fuelled by scandals such as the Panama Papers revealing the scale of tax avoidance by very rich people.

“The global inequality crisis is undermining the struggle for a fairer and more sustainable world, trampling on the rights of women, workers, and the poorest families. Governments must act now to reverse cuts to public spending, privatisation, tax breaks for the wealthy and the race to the bottom on human rights.”

Notes to editors: 

The Fight Inequality Alliance is a group of organisations working to fight inequality; committed to building a global movement to counter the excessive power and influence of the 1% and achieve a fairer and more sustainable world. The members of the Fight Inequality Alliance are ActionAid; ACT Alliance; Amnesty International; CIVICUS; FEMNET; Greenpeace International; International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Oxfam.

The World Wealth Report is released annually by Capgemini analysing high net worth individuals, their wealth and the global economic context www.worldwealthreport.com.

This year’s World Wealth Report found that there were 145.2k Ultra High Net Worth Individuals with wealth of more than $30 million each in 2015. There were an estimated 702 million people in extreme poverty in 2015 (as above). This gives a ratio of more than 4800 to 1. 

The World Wealth Report found that High Net Worth Individuals had a total wealth of $58.7 trillion in 2015. World Bank data shows that the total GDP of the poorest countries (31 countries in total which are classified as Low Income Countries by the World Bank) is $379.8 billion. http://data.worldbank.org/income-level/LIC This is a ratio of more than 150 to 1.

The World Bank estimated in October 2015 that there are 702 million people in extreme poverty, based on the $1.90 extreme poverty line. Reference: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/10/04/world-bank-forecasts-global-poverty-to-fall-below-10-for-first-time-major-hurdles-remain-in-goal-to-end-poverty-by-2030

Regional data:

  • Global HNWI wealth expanded fourfold over the last 20 years to reach US$58.7 trillion in 2015.
  • Against the backdrop of growing inequality in many countries, Asia-Pacific surpassed North America to become the region with the largest amount of HNWI wealth. Faltering growth in the Americas has slowed the overall rate of HNWI wealth expansion.
  • Japan and China are the engines of both Asia-Pacific and global growth.
  • Global HNWI wealth is projected to surpass US$100 trillion by 2025.
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