Diminishing Wealth Inequality

So, how wealthy are you? (compared to everyone else, of course) 

According to Credit Suisse, if you have a net worth of $93,170, you are richer than 90% of the people around the world.  If your net worth is just $4,210, you’re still richer than half the people in the world.

What is your net worth?  It’s the total value of all the assets (bank accounts, stocks, etc.) you own (including your home) less your debt (including your home mortgage).

So, here are two pictures to describe wealth inequality in the world:  (see Figure 1)

Figure 1

Of the 5 billion adults in the world in 2017, about 1% of them controlled about 46% of world’s wealth.  The poorest 70% of adults (with net worths of less than $10,000) controlled about 3% of the world’s wealth.  The bottom 50% of the world actually had a net worth of 0. That’s inequality.

And here’s another way to look at it: (see Figure 2)

Figure 2

Less than 1% of the world’s people control 46% of the world’s wealth.  70% of the world’s people control just about 3% of the world’s wealth.  

So, who is in that top 1% in the world?  It takes a net worth of $871,320 to join the global 1% and 19 million Americans qualify.  The United States is 5% of the world’s population but Americans make up 53% of the top 1%.

What are the causes of global wealth inequality?  In 2017 leading academics in Australia identified: (1) lack of access to education for all women, (2) uneven fostering of free enterprise and innovation; (3) creation of a massive underclass deprived of opportunities; (4) historical processes such as wars, industrialization, colonialism, and global politics.