Richest 1% will control 50% of wealth by 2016

The richest 1% will control 50% of the wealth worldwide by 2016, per a new study by Oxfam.

The report also reveals that “85 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.”

The report has a number of pretty interesting charts. I’m posting them below.

I do wonder of the recent increase in disparity is due to: 1) the global recession/depression making the poor even poorer, while 2) people with money have investments that did quite well after 2008 (the US stock market doubled in the last four years).

In fact, the report reports on this, and says it’s a variety of investments:

There are a few important economic sectors that have contributed to the accumulation of wealth of these billionaires. In March 2014, 20% of them (321) were listed as having interests or activities in, or relating to, the financial and insurance sectors, 9 the most commonly cited source of wealth for billionaires on this list. Since March 2013, there have been 37 new billionaires from these sectors, and six have dropped off the list. The accumulated wealth of billionaires from these sectors has increased from $1.01tn to $1.16tn in a single year; a nominal increase of $150bn, or 15%.

Rich 1%

Rich via Shutterstock

Between 2013 and 2014 billionaires listed as having interests and activities in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors saw the biggest increase in their collective wealth. Twenty-nine individuals joined the ranks of the billionaires between March 2013 and March 2014 (five dropped off the list), increasing the total number from 66 billionaires to 90, in 2014 making up 5% of the total billionaires on the list. The collective wealth of billionaires with interests in this sector increased from $170bn to $250bn, a 47% increase and the largest percentage increase in wealth of the different sectors on the Forbes list.

Here are a few of the more interesting charts:

figure-1

I’m not entirely convinced of the trajectory on this one. One could argue that things got markedly better in 2012, when the increasing disparity finally leveled off.figure-2

This one is pretty wild. Again, I wonder about the influence of the stock market on this:

figure-3

This one is pretty wild too:figure-4


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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