We live in the age of the billionaire, and the extraordinarily impoverished. Almost everyone, at least in America, knows that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are worth over $100 billion. They made their money, as many of the billionaires did, via investments in tech companies. The only major exception to that is Warren Buffett, known as the greatest investor of all time. Ironically, he made a large amount of his fortune via an investment in Apple.
A mind-numbing number of people live in extreme poverty, which the UN defines are those who make less than $1.90 a year. That figure is estimated at about 700 million people and is expected to tip up because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on these data, the extremely rich are getting richer, and the extremely poor are getting poorer.
To find the country with the richest rich people, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the World Inequality Database’s 2022 World Inequality Report, ranking countries by the highest percentage of each country’s wealth controlled by the top 1% of their earners. In the countries on this list, the 1% hold at least 31% of total household wealth.
The world’s richest countries are by no means necessarily the same as those countries where the 1% controls the most wealth. The list of countries we considered includes some of the world’s poorest nations, including Rwanda, Malawi, and Benin. Still, our universe includes some of the world’s wealthiest nations, including Switzerland, Qatar, and the U.S.
Most of the nations whose richest 1% hold at least 31% of total household wealth are African and Asian countries whose economies are the fastest growing in the world. In the course of this development, wealth has been accumulated by a select few in industries such as energy, communications, technology, and agriculture. As a result, some of these countries have the greatest disparity of wealth in the world.
The country where the 1% control the most wealth is South Africa. Here are the details:
> Household wealth share top 1%: 55.03% of all household wealth
> Household wealth top 10%: 85.67% — #1 highest of 174 countries
> Household wealth mid 40%: 16.78% — #1 lowest of 174 countries
> Household wealth bottom 50%: -2.44% — #2 lowest of 174 countries
> Average income: $13,205 — #74 lowest of 150 countries
Methodology: To find the country with the richest rich people, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the World Inequality Database’s 2022 World Inequality Report, ranking countries by the highest percentage of wealth controlled by the top 1% of their earners. All 174 countries in the report are included. Data is as of 2021.
Data on how much wealth the top 10%, mid 40%, and bottom 50% control, as well as average income is also drawn from the report. Average national income is defined in the report as “the sum of all pretax personal income flows accruing to the owners of the production factors, labor and capital, including social insurance benefits (and removing corresponding contributions), but excluding other forms of redistribution (income tax, social assistance benefits, etc.).” The report uses purchasing power parity for inequality estimates. Estimates correct for inflation using the national income deflator (base 2021). The population whose income is recorded comprises individuals over age 20.
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