62 wealthiest people own as much as half the world

2016-01-18 10:03

London - The world's richest 62 people now own as much wealth as half of the world's population, according to a report by the charity Oxfam. 

Super-rich individuals saw an increase of 44% since 2010, taking their cumulative wealth to $1.76 trillion – equivalent to the total owned by 3.5 billion of the world's poorest people.  

The UK-based charity on Monday also said tax havens were helping corporations and individuals stash away about $7.6 trillion, depriving governments of $190bn in tax revenue every year.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Oxfam Australia's Chief Executive Helen Szoke said there were no appropriate mechanisms to check if wealth was being shared appropriately.

"We believe there is a need for commitments from global business leaders and political leaders for major tax reform to get rid of the tax havens," Szoke said.

"There's too much leakage of what should be paid in taxation exacerbating this gap [between rich and poor]."

Referring to economic growth in Western countries, such as her native Australia, Szoke said little wealth was reaching the impoverished.

"The startling figure in our domestic context in Australia is that where there has been wealth generation in the last decade, none of that has actually trickled down to some of the Australians who are poor."

(Graphic: Oxfam)

Lack of action

Oxfam said wealth is being concentrated in the hands of increasingly fewer people, while the world's poorest continue to get poorer. In 2010, 388 people owned as much as the world's poorest 50%. 

Mark Goldring, Oxfam chief executive in the United Kingdom, said the stated concern of world leaders over escalating inequality was not being matched with action.

"It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich, so few you could fit them all on a single coach. 

"In a world where one-in-nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever-bigger slice of the cake," Goldring said.

The organisation is calling on world leaders meeting for the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city of Davos later this month to crackdown on tax havens, ensure fair wages, and invest in public services.

 (Graphic: Oxfam)

Read more on:    oxfam  |  uk

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.