Credit Suisse issued on October 9th their Global Wealth Report 2013, which finds that the world’s richest 0.7% own 13.67 times as much as do the world’s poorest 68.7%. That super-rich 0.7% (each with net-worths above $50,000,000) own 41% of the planet’s private assets. The world’s richest 8.4% own 83.3%. The world’s richest 31.3% own 97%. So: the bottom 68.7% own just 3%. (All of these findings are calculated from the data shown on page 22.)
Economic mobility into and out of the billionaire class, during the latest ten-year period (2000-2010), is low: only 24% entered or left the class during this decade (see page 28). The U.S. was average in that regard, at 23% entering or leaving. Japan was high, at 42% mobility. Canada was extremely low, at only 12% mobility.
The number of millionaires increased during the past five years by 50% globally, and by 41% in the U.S. It rose the highest percentage in Poland (89%), China (88%), and Brazil (84%). It rose 66% in India, and 58% in Russia. (See the report’s page 43.)
During this past year, “Fifteen countries registered double-digit wealth gains. … The United States lies in the middle of this group and no longer stands out. Household wealth rose at a slightly faster rate in Uruguay, Sweden, New Zealand, Azerbaijan, and Mexico.” Moreover, “The ranking by median wealth per adult is … favoring countries with lower levels of wealth inequality. Australia (USD [$]220,000 tops the list again this year, with only Luxembourg (USD 183,000) in close contention. Median wealth in Belgium, France, Italy, the UK, and Japan lies in the USD 110,000 to 150,000 range. Switzerland, Finland and Norway have slightly lower values of around USD 95,000, but the United States is much further back, with median wealth of just USD 45,000.” (Page 7.)
Whereas the average (median) person in the U.S. was far poorer than the average person in the rest of the industrialized world, this nation’s richest people are so extraordinarily wealthy that our per-capita (or “mean”) wealth, of $51,600, is competitive with that of other industrialized countries.