You may be higher up the global wealth pyramid than you think

IF YOU had only $2,220 to your name (adding together your bank deposits, financial investments and property holdings, and subtracting your debts) you might not think yourself terribly fortunate. But you would be wealthier than half the world’s population, according to this year’s Global Wealth Report by the Crédit Suisse Research Institute. If you had $71,560 or more, you would be in the top tenth. If you were lucky enough to own over $744,400 you could count yourself a member of the global 1% that voters everywhere are rebelling against.

Unlike many studies of prosperity and inequality, this one counts household assets rather than income. The data are patchy, particularly at the bottom and apex of the pyramid. But with some assumptions, the institute calculates that the world’s households owned property and net financial assets worth almost $256trn in mid-2016. That is about 3.4 times the world’s annual GDP. If this wealth were divided equally it would come to $52,819 per adult. But in reality the top tenth own 89% of it.

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This post was originally published in the Economist.

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You may be higher up the global wealth pyramid than you think

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