The global wealth imbalance is growing, a shocking new report reveals.
The top 1 percent have amassed more than half of the world’s wealth and control 50.1 percent of the planet’s $280 trillion in assets as of mid-2017, the report found.
That’s up from the 45.5 percent of the world’s wealth in the hands of the top 1 percent in 2000, according to data released Tuesday in Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report.
The world’s richest folks were able to increase their grip on the world’s wealth because their assets increased in value faster than those held by the lower 99 percent, the bank said.
Holdings of the top 5 percent and top 10 percent also ratcheted upward, and currently account for 76.4 percent and 87.8 percent, respectively, of total global wealth.
Americans saw their wealth grow 10.1 percent in the past year, faster than in any other country, according to the report.
In the US, there were 1.1 million new millionaires created in the past 12 months — or one new millionaire every 30 seconds.
The average American adult is worth $388,585 in 2017, according to the report, up from $211,000 in 2000.
The rise in wealth in the US means that more millionaires reside in the States — 15.4 million of us have a seven-digit net worth, or 43 percent of all on the planet — than anywhere else in the world.
Japan has the second most millionaires, with 2.7 million. But its tough economy last year pushed 340,000 Japanese from millionaire status.
The survey, now in its eighth year, defines wealth as the value of financial assets plus real assets (principally housing), minus household debts.
Once debt was subtracted, a person needed only $3,582 to rank among the wealthiest half of world citizens, Credit Suisse calculated.
If you have a worth of $76,754 — that is assets minus debt — congratulations, you are among the world’s top 10 percent wealthiest. A net worth of $770,368 would place you among the top 1 percent on the planet.
In the US, baby boomers — those aged 50 to 70 — continued to see their net worth grow the fastest.
Millennials, on the other hand, have had “a run of bad luck,” according to the report.
This group, defined as “people who came of age after the turn of the century,” not only sustained capital losses in the global financial crisis but also carried the most student debt and faced stringent mortgage qualifications.
Throw in increased income inequality and lower income mobility and the result was “a ‘perfect storm’ holding back wealth accumulation by the millennials.”
The report also addressed the world’s wealth disparities.
China accounts for 22 percent of the adult population, for example, yet only 10 percent of the world’s wealth.
Latin America, with 9 percent of the population, has only 3 percent of the wealth.
Income disparity was even worse in India and Africa — areas where, Credit Suisse said, the share of population often exceeded the share of wealth by a factor of 10 or more.