The number of super-rich has decreased since 2010, when it took the combined wealth of the world’s 388 richest people to equal that of the poorest 50% of the global population.
“It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.
“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 CEO Mark Goldring.
Oxfam, whose leader co-chaired the World Economic Forum last year, aims to draw more attention to the increasing wealth divide. The net worth of the top 62 wealthiest rose by more than US$67 trillion dollars between 2010 and 2015, while the 3,6 billion people in the poorest 50% of the world’s population lost US$1 trillion dollars.
“Wealth is moving rapidly to concentrate at the tippy, tippy top of the pyramid,” said Gawain Kripke, the director of policy and research at Oxfam America.
Another sad discovery made by Oxfam is that the income gap between the rich and poor is continuously growing. The poorest 20% of the world – who live below the breadline on less than US$1,90 (R31,69) a day – barely saw an increase in their income between 1988 and 2011, while the wealthy 10% boasts a 46% increase.
“The global economy is not working to pull these people out of extreme poverty,” said Deborah Hardoon, Oxfam’s Deputy Head of Research.
In a separate report published in 2015, the Pew Research Centre found global poverty has decreased by nearly half over the past decade, but the poorest 20% living below the breadline remain vulnerable.