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Richest 2% own ‘half the wealth’

15 December, 2006

I came across this article yesterday.  The statistics are so dramatic that they bear very little extra comment.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Richest 2% own ‘half the wealth’
By Andrew Walker
The people at the top of the tree are enjoying the best things in life
The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth, according to a new study by a United Nations research institute.

The report, from the World Institute for Development Economics Research at the UN University, says that the poorer half of the world’s population own barely 1% of global wealth.

There have of course been many studies of worldwide inequality.

But what is new about this report, the authors say, is its coverage.

It deals with all countries in the world – either actual data or estimates based on statistical analysis – and it deals with wealth, where most previous research has looked at income.

What they mean by wealth in this study is what people own, less what they owe – their debts. The assets include land, buildings, animals and financial assets.

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