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World’s Richest 1% Own Half The World’s $250 Trillion

Dollar Representing Wealth

While the world’s wealth is reportedly down from last year as a result of the strong US dollar, the schism between rich and poor continues to widen, according to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s annual “Global Wealth Report.”

The report also notes that the underlying trends in wealth are, however, generally positive.

So just how much wealth does the world have? According to the institute’s recently released report, global wealth hit $250 trillion in 2015. While the amount is perhaps impressive to some, it’s actually a slight decrease in comparison to 2014.

Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse, indicated that while the predominant concentration of the world’s wealth continues to be located in the U.S. and Europe, emergent market growth has been “most impressive.” China alone, who saw a five-fold increase since the turn of the century, now accounts for just under 10 percent of the world’s wealth.

Wealth is (nevertheless) still predominantly concentrated in Europe and the United States. However, the growth of wealth in emerging markets has been most impressive, including a fivefold rise in China since the beginning of the century

Up until now, America’s middle class has led the way. But now, in light of China’s economic advances, it now has–for the first time in recorded history–the largest middle class on the planet.

According to the report, the Chinese middle class now numbers well over 100 million, whereas the American middle class a mere 92 million in comparison. Specifically, the Chinese middle class is now composed of 109 million adults while America’s measures just 92 million adults.

In comparison to the top of the dog pile, the rich, the middle class’s wealth grew at a slower pace. Regardless, “the middle class will continue to expand in emerging economies overall, with a lion’s share of that growth to occur in Asia” and as a result, “we will see changing consumption patterns as well as societal changes as, historically, the middle class has acted as an agent of stability and prosperity,” according to Thiam.

Still, the middle class will continue to expand in emerging economies overall, with a lion’s share of that growth to occur in Asia. As a result, we will see changing consumption patterns as well as societal changes as, historically, the middle class has acted as an agent of stability and prosperity

What are your thoughts on the 2015 Global Wealth Report’s findings?

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