Rich man Poor man — the divide widens
According to the latest report by Swiss bank Credit Suisse, nearly three quarters of the world's poorest billion live in countries in Asia and Africa. The bank’s annual global wealth report shows that Nigeria, with 35 million poor, came in third for hosting the world’s poorest people. This was dwarfed by China in second place with 72 million poor and India in top position with 246 million poor people.
Other countries contributing significantly to the bottom wealth bracket are Russia with 28 million of the world's poorest, Ukraine with 25 million and the United States with 21 million.
Incongruous as it may seem, the report shows that many of the world's richest and poorest people live in Asian countries, highlighting the unequal distribution of wealth.
Here are some key data about the world's most and least well-off people according to the Swiss bank:
- There are an estimated 33 million people in the world who own between 1 million and 50 million dollars, known in the banking industry as high-worth individuals.
- Wealthy people in the United States make up 45 percent in this group — the largest regional share, followed by 30 percent of Europeans. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region account for 18 percent, excluding India and China. With 1.6 million such millionaires, communist China fields 5 percent of the total.
- The club of so-called ultra-high net worth individuals, who own more than 50 million dollars, includes some 140,900 people.
- China is home to 11,000 super-rich people, ranking second place after the United States with 70,400. Germany comes third with 6,100 people in this exclusive club.
- With an average net worth of 500,000 dollars per adult, the Swiss are the world's richest people, 11 times wealthier than the average world citizen. The people of Switzerland make up only 0.1 percent of the global population, but they own 1.4 percent of the world's assets.
- The poorest 20 percent of the global population is estimated at 1 billion people. In this group are adults who own no more than 248 dollars. Among this bottom billion, 44 percent are net debtors, owing an average of 2,628 dollars.