3 World’s Richest One Percent Continue to Become Wealthier

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

In November 2017, the Guardian reported on Credit Suisse’s global wealth report, which found that the richest 1 percent of the world now owns more than half of the world’s wealth. As the Guardian noted, “The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017.” This concentrated wealth amounts to $140 trillion, according to the Credit Suisse report. The number of millionaires in the world—approximately 36 million people—is now nearly three times greater than in 2000.

This staggering concentration of wealth comes at an extreme cost, as the Guardian noted: “At the other end of the spectrum, the world’s 3.5 billion poorest adults each have assets of less than $10,000 (£7,600). Collectively these people, who account for 70% of the world’s working age population, account for just 2.7% of global wealth.”

The report contained bad news for millennials, as well. As Credit Suisse’s chairman, Urs Rohner, noted, “Those with low wealth tend to be disproportionately found among the younger age groups, who have had little chance to accumulate assets . . . [W]e find that millennials face particularly challenging circumstances.”

Tremendous concentration of wealth and the extreme poverty that results from it are problems that affect everyone in the world, but wealth inequalities do not receive nearly as much attention as they should in the establishment press. The few corporate news reports that have addressed this issue—including an August 2017 Bloomberg article and a July 2016 report for CBS’s MoneyWatch—focused exclusively on wealth inequality within the United States. As Project Censored has previously reported, corporate news consistently covers the world’s billionaires while ignoring millions of humans who live in poverty.

Rupert Neate, “Richest 1% Own Half the World’s Wealth, Study Finds,” The Guardian, November 14, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/nov/14/worlds-richest-wealth-credit-suisse.

Student Researchers: Nandita Raghavan and Stephanie Rickher (Diablo Valley College)

Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)