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The World Distribution of Household Wealth

World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) | December 5, 2006

The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth according to a path-breaking study by the Helsinki-based World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER). The most comprehensive study of personal wealth ever undertaken also reports that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. In contrast, the bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth. The research finds that assets of $2,200 per adult placed a household in the top half of the world wealth distribution in the year 2000. To be among the richest 10% of adults in the world required $61,000 in assets, and more than $500,000 was needed to belong to the richest 1%, a group which—with 37 million members worldwide—is far from an exclusive club.

External Link: The World Distribution of Household Wealth

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