Richest 62 have same wealth as poorest half of world: Survey

Monday, Jan 18, 2016,12:46 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Davos | Showing a sharp rise in income inequality in India and other countries, a new survey today said the wealth of 62 richest persons globally now equals that of the poorest half of the world’s population.

Besides, there are just nine women among the world’s 62 richest persons, whose total wealth has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to USD 1.76 trillion since 2010.

The study, titled ‘An Economy for the 1 per cent’ and conducted by rights group Oxfam, also showed that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 41 per cent.

This has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period.

Released here ahead of the five-day World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting beginning tomorrow, the survey showed that the number of people whose wealth is equal to that of the poorest half of the world’s population stood at 388 in 2010.

Since then, it has been continuously declining and stood at 177 in the year 2011, 159 in 2012, 92 in 2013 and 80 in 2014.

Talking about the income inequality in various countries, the study cited that India’s top IT firm CEO makes 416 times the salary of a typical employee there, while that of the largest cigarette manufacturer gets 439 times the median staff salary.

It also said that 46 per cent of billionaires in India have made their fortunes from sectors that depend upon market power, influence or preferential access to licensing.

At the same time, the report praised regulatory efforts in India mandating greater disclosures in this regard.

Lawmakers in India passed a disclosure mandate in 2013 which requires CEO pay ratios to be made public, an important step towards informing the public about the level of inequality within companies, it said.