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The world’s richest 62 people are as wealthy as half the globe’s population

The richest one per cent of the world own more wealth than the rest of the world put together. And that's if you "err on the low side" of the stats.

An analysis of data from the Credit Suisse research institute by Oxfam suggests that the richest 62 people in the world - figures which are hard to fully account, and are thus underestimated - have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50 per cent. That's around £1,750 billion. Staggering, we know.

Wealth of the richest 62 people, charted in Oxfam's report

The report, titled An Economy for the 1%, was released to coincide with a gathering of billionaires at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos (you probably didn't get an invite).

While the global economy continues to struggle, the wealth of the world's elite classes has actually increased: Oxfam's 2010 report suggested that the wealthiest 388 people owned the same wealth as the poorest 50 per cent. In that time, the wealth of the poorest half of the globe has fallen by around $1 trillion.

Oxfam blamed the increasing wealth gap on the success of wealth lobbyists protecting their own interests in governments around the world, and the persistent legality of tax heavens - which the report suggests hold as much as $7.6 trillion in untaxable accounts.

"We need to end the era of tax havens which has allowed rich individuals and multinational companies to avoid their responsibilities to society by hiding ever increasing amounts of money offshore," said Oxfam GB chief exec Mark Goldring. "Tackling the veil of secrecy surrounding the UK’s network of tax havens would be a big step towards ending extreme inequality. Three years after he made his promise to make tax dodgers ‘wake up and smell the coffee’, it is time for David Cameron to deliver."

Those darn fatcat CEOs, you may think - but Oxfam's report shows that getting into the top 10 per cent of the world's wealthiest isn't for golf-playing business owners. Cash and assets of £48,300 can get you into the top 10 per cent, while a wealth of £533,000 is required to tip into the one per cent. Given that the average London house price is now £500,000, it puts an awful lot of the UK's capital into that bubble.

Time to start writing some heartfelt letters to your MP. 

(Image: Shutterstock)

[Via: BBC]