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The Richest 211,000 People Own 13% of the World’s Wealth

Translated Tuesday 25 November 2014, by Gene Zbikowski

A new study confirms that the ultra-rich are concentrating more and more wealth in their hands. Despite the crisis, their number is increasing, and their wealth even more.

The study, by WealthX and the UBS bank, is on the very wealthy who have amassed fortunes of over 30 million dollars. There are 211,000 of them, an increase of 6% over the previous year, and their aggregate wealth has increased by 7%. They thus own 13% of the world’s wealth.

They are spread increasingly evenly throughout the world, although the United States is still home to the biggest contingent of ultra-wealthy people, followed by Europe and Asia. The African continent remains in last place, with 3,005 ultra-rich people, but Africa is also where the increase has been sharpest, with an 8.3% increase.

The wealth accumulated by these 211,000 ultra-affluent people amounts to 30 trillion dollars. This is practically the equivalent of the aggregate GDP of Europe and the United States, or nearly half the world GDP. It is three times as great as the sum total of all the sovereign debt accumulated by the European countries. The increase in this wealth was mainly accomplished on the financial markets which have taken off again as if there had never been an economic crisis. However, one-third of these ultra-well-heeled people inherited the bulk of their fortunes. Across the world, the club of the filthy rich is overwhelmingly made up of men whose average age is 59.

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