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The gap between rich and poor reaches new milestone: Report

The top one percent now control half of the world’s wealth. To make it into this elite group, an individual needs to have a net worth of at least $759,900 US. Total global wealth is estimated to be $250 trillion.

Ultra-high net worth individuals — those with net assets above $50 million — now number 123,800, according to the study. The U.S. has the highest number of these individuals with 48 percent. China is a distant second with eight percent, while the UK ranks third.

This milestone comes at a time when wealth inequality has risen every year since the economic crisis of 2008, reports the CBC.

At the other end of the spectrum, the poorest two-thirds of the world’s population control a meager three percent, notes Business Insider.

Mark Goldring, CEO of Oxfam GB, said of the report: “This is the latest evidence that extreme inequality is out of control. Are we really happy to live in a world where the top one percent own half the wealth and the poorest half own just one percent?”

The report also examines middle-class wealth. In 2015, the middle-class “accounts for 14 percent of world adults and 32 percent of world wealth. When those beyond the middle class are added, the larger group makes up 16 percent of the adult population and holds 92 percent of total wealth.”

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Rising wealth inequality continues to be in the foreground since the Occupy movement made it a prominent issue in late 2011.

Earlier this week, the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Angus Deaton for his work on inequality. In his 2013 book The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, Deaton argues that his worries about inequality have nothing to do with jealousy, but has “everything to do with the fear that rapidly growing top incomes are a threat to the well-being of everyone else,” via Vox.

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