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The world's wealthy: where on earth are the richest 1%?


Despite the continuing problems in the global economy, the ultra-rich have helped to push up average wealth in the world to an all-time high of US$51,600 per adult (£32,399). But what do those averages hide?

The data, published in a new report by Credit Suisse, also reveals the countries that have seen the biggest rises in wealth, and which are likely to in the future. Here are some of the main findings:

The wealthiest 32m people own more than the poorest 4.3bn put together

The idea of the world's wealthy 1% is still a powerful one – and graphics like the pyramid below demonstrate that stark contrast between the few and the many.

32m individuals (just 0.7% of the world's population) together hold US$98.7tn (or £62,000,0000,000,000, which represents 41% of global wealth).

At the other extreme, there are 3.2bn individuals at the bottom of the pyramid. Together they have 3% of global riches, despite representing 68.7% of the world population. But it might be surprising how little wealth an individual has to have to get out of that bottom tier and in with the top 33% of the world's population: US$10,000 is sufficient.

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