Who is the poorest billionaire

Oxfam 2020 study: Billionaires own as much as 60 percent of the world's population

  • The world's 2,153 billionaires own as much as 60 percent of the world's population. That is the result of an Oxfam study.
  • Oxfam warns of extreme wealth and its downside in this context. Economic inequality has gotten out of hand.
  • However, the figures do not clearly show a growing gap between rich and poor.
  • More articles on Business Insider.

At the beginning of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the aid organization Oxfam once again warned of the growing gap between rich and poor. "Economic inequality has gotten out of hand," said a wealth study the organization published on Monday.

As an example, Oxfam cites the Billionaires Club, which currently has 2,153 people worldwide. Together they would own as much as the poorest 60 percent of the world's population, around 4.6 billion people. Her fortune amounts to a total of 8.7 trillion US dollars.

According to the study, the concentration of global prosperity in the hands of a small elite has increased further over the past decade. The richest one percent now own around 45 percent of global wealth. Ten years ago they only owned 42 percent.

No clear evidence of the growing gap between rich and poor

However, this does not yet indicate a continuous trend, as suggested in Oxfam (see graphic). According to the data from Credit Suisse, to which Oxfam refers, the distribution of wealth in the top 1 percent has been wavy since 2000 and has also been several times above today's level, for example in 2001 and 2005.

The numbers do not confirm the narrative of the widening gap between rich and poor. On the contrary: In a blog post, the Institute of German Economy in Cologne points out that global wealth inequality, measured by the so-called Gini coefficient, has been falling for almost two decades. The figures come from the Credit Suisse database, to which Oxfam also refers.

According to the IW Cologne, the situation has even improved. The share of the bottom 90 percent of the world's population in total wealth rose from 11.5 percent in 2000 to 18.3 percent in 2019.

Unpaid care work increases the risk of poverty for women

In addition to the global distribution between rich and poor, the Oxfam study also looks at differences between men and women.

Women and girls in particular would be among the losers in the economic system because they often work unpaid because of the role they are assigned.

Every year their work amounts to 12 billion hours of unpaid housework, care and welfare work. According to calculations by Oxfam, they are losing $ 11 trillion in wages. “Every year women and girls around the world provide care and support services that far exceed the wealth of the super-rich. But while the wealth of some rises to the sheer immeasurable level, women more often live in poverty, ”Oxfam analyst Ellen Ehmke is quoted as saying.

In this context, Oxfam called on the German government to steer German development aid in a gender-sensitive manner. Investments in public childcare and women's organizations should be massively increased.

Read also:

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