The richest 1 percent is now wealthier than the rest of humanity combined, according to Oxfam, which called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce such inequality.
In a report published on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the anti-poverty charity cited data from Credit Suisse Group AG in declaring the most affluent controlled most of the world’s wealth in 2015. That’s a year earlier than it had anticipated.
Oxfam also calculated that 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.5 billion people, the bottom half of the global population, compared with 388 individuals five years earlier. The wealth of the most affluent rose 44 percent since 2010 to $1.76 trillion, while the wealth of the bottom half fell 41 percent or just over $1 trillion.
The charity used the statistics to argue that growing inequality poses a threat to economic expansion and social cohesion. Those risks have already been noted in countries from the U.S. to Spain, where voters are increasingly backing populist political candidates, while it’s sown tensions on the streets of Latin America and the Middle East.