Top 0.7 Percent of World’s Population Controls $116.6 Trillion of Wealth

Associated Press

During the age of Obama, the rich have gotten richer and the poor, far poorer, according to a survey of the world’s wealth.

Swiss bank Credit Suisse has released its 2016 review of the world’s wealth, showing that during the last six years, the control of wealth at the top has become more concentrated, while earners at the bottom who are worth less than $10,000 have not only become a larger pool of people, but have also lost wealth.

The most recent review shows that nearly half the world’s wealth — or about $255 trillion, which makes up 45.6 percent of the world’s wealth — is owned by a mere 0.7 percent of the world’s population. Meanwhile, 73.2 percent of the world only holds about $6 trillion of the world’s wealth, according to

But a previous Credit Suisse review from 2010 revealed that the top wealthiest people, which then made up only 0.5 percent of the world’s population, owned a far lower $69.2 trillion of the world’s wealth. In that same year, 68.4 percent of the world’s citizens owned a larger $8.2 trillion in wealth.

The previous review also revealed that the middle classes lost ground since 2010.

The middle classes took a huge hit between 2010 and 2016. Citizens worth between $10,000 and $100,000 have shrunk from the 2010 number of 1,045 million people (or 23.5 percent of the world’s population) to the much lower number of 897 million (18.5 percent of the people) this year.

Meanwhile, the upper middle class seemed relatively static. In 2010, 334 million people (7.5 percent of the population) were worth up to a million dollars. By this latest review, 365 million people (also 7.5 percent of the population) were worth as much.

The Credit Suisse report also found that 41 percent of all the world’s citizens worth at least a million dollars live in the United States. Only Japan and the United Kingdom came close with nine percent and seven percent, respectively, of the world’s population worth up to a million dollars.

The list of ultra high net worth-level (UHNW) individuals is also dominated by Americans. Fifty-two 52 percent of all the world’s UHNW individuals live in the U.S. By contrast, it takes all of Europe to equal the next 21 percent of these very wealthy people.

It does not appear that President Barack Obama’s polices helped the poor and middle classes get ahead. Instead, the rich have fared extremely well in the era of Obama, while everyone else has lost ground.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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