The rich get richer
If you need a startling statistic to put into perspective the growing gap between the world's rich and the world's poor, consider this: The world's richest eight people hold as much wealth as the world's poorest half. That's the take-home message from a new report from anti-poverty organization Oxfam, which found that the money amassed by these few super-wealthy individuals equals that of the world's 3.6 billion poorest individuals.
The eight richest people, all men, are listed below, in order of net worth:
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, $75 billion
Amancio Ortega Gaona, Spanish founder of the fashion company Inditex, $67 billion
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, $60.8 billion
Carlos Slim Helú, Mexican telecommunications magnate, $50 billion
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, $45.2 billion
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, $44.6 billion
Lawrence Ellison, founder of Oracle, $43.6 billion
Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg L.P., $40 billion
World and business leaders are meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, and Oxfam released the report in an attempt to urge these leaders to do more about the growing income gap. "It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. "Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy."
In 2015, a similar report found 62 people held as much wealth as the bottom half.
Editor's note: This article originally mischaracterized the nature of the findings in the Oxfam report and has since been corrected. We regret the error.