Statistics

The United States of America:

As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. (UCSC Sociology)

Now for some more impressive stuff.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported in 1998 that the world's 225 richest people now have a combined wealth of $1 trillion. That's equal to the combined annual income of the world's 2.5 billion poorest people. The wealth of the world's three most well-to-do individuals now exceeds the combined GDP of the 48 least developed countries. While global GNP grew 40 percent between 1970 and 1985, the number of poor grew by 17 percent. At present, 3 billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. UNDP calculates that an annual 4 percent levy on the world's 225 most well-to-do people (average 1998 wealth: $4.5 billion) would suffice to provide the following essentials for all those in developing countries: adequate food, safe water and sanitation, basic education, basic health care and reproductive health care.

That's just statistics though. Who knows, maybe it's all meaningless.

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