Below is graphic from ANZ Bank showing the change in real income between 1988 and 2008 at various percentiles of global income distribution (calculated in 2005 international dollars). Global inequality has improved except for the upper middle class.
Some comparisons of income distribution:
- An American having the average income of the bottom U.S. decile is better-off than 2/3 of world population.
- The richest 1% of people in the world receive as much as the bottom 57%, or in other words, less than 50 million richest people receive as much as 2.7 billion poor.
- The three richest people possess more financial assets than the poorest 10% of the world’s population, combined.
- In 2005, the three richest people in the world have total assets that exceed the annual combined GDP of the 47 countries with the least GDP.
- In 2005, the 125 richest people in the world have assets that exceed the annual combined GDP of all the least developed countries.
- In January this year Oxfam calculated that the eight richest men in the world own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.
The world’s 8 richest people are, in order of net worth:
1. Bill Gates: America founder of Microsoft (net worth $75 billion)
2. Amancio Ortega: Spanish founder of Inditex which owns the Zara fashion chain (net worth $67 billion)
3. Warren Buffett: American CEO and largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8 billion)
4. Carlos Slim Helu: Mexican owner of Grupo Carso (net worth: $50 billion)
5. Jeff Bezos: American founder, chairman and chief executive of Amazon (net worth: $45.2 billion)
6. Mark Zuckerberg: American chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook (net worth $44.6 billion)
7. Larry Ellison: American co-founder and CEO of Oracle (net worth $43.6 billion)
8. Michael Bloomberg: American founder, owner and CEO of Bloomberg LP (net worth: $40 billion)
Sources: ANZ Bank, Wikipedia, Oxfam International
Lord Nicholas Stern is the delivering the Sir Dougla Robb Lectures 2010 at the University of Auckland early next month. His focus is on managing the risks of climate change, overcoming world poverty and creating a new era of growth and prosperity: The challenges for global collaboration and reationality. He was the Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 2000 to 2003, and was recently a civil servant and government economic advisor in the United Kingdom. He also wrote The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change – a 700-page report released for the British government on October 30, 2006. There are 3 lectures – 8, 9, 10 September at 7pm. For more information and to register click here. Worth a visit.