TWO per cent of adults command more than half of the world’s wealth, while the bottom 50 per cent possesses just one per cent, according to a United Nations development institute study.
While income is distributed unequally across the globe, the geographical spread of wealth – which includes property and financial assets – is even more skewed, the study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the UN University showed.
“Wealth is heavily concentrated in North America, Europe and high-income Asia-Pacific countries. People in these countries collectively hold almost 90 per cent of total world wealth,” the survey said.
The Helsinki-based institute said this was the first global research on the topic, for which there are only limited data. The study is based on figures from 2000.
Institute director Anthony Shorrocks said if the world’s population was reduced to a group of 10 people, one person would hold $US99 and the remaining nine would share $1.