BUSINESS

The Top One Per Cent Own Half Of The World: Credit Suisse Report

10/13/2015 03:08 EDT | Updated 10/13/2015 07:59 EDT
JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images
People walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building on March 11, 2015 in New York. The average Wall Street bonus rose two percent in 2014 as hiring in New York City's financial sector picked up, according to a government report released on March 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite global wealth decreasing by $12.4 trillion over the past year, mainly due to currency fluctuations, the global distribution of wealth has become even more unequal.

Today the top one per cent "account for half of all assets in the world," according to Credit Suisse's 2015 Global Wealth Report.

"Wealth is ... still predominantly concentrated in Europe and the United States. However, the growth of wealth in emerging markets has been most impressive, including a five-fold rise in China since the beginning of the century," wrote Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam in the report.

"The number of high net worth (HNW) individuals fell for the first time since 2008," the report says.

"However, the share of wealth owned by HNW individuals continued to rise as it has done every year since 2002, except for the setback in 2007–2008."

Here's what the wealth pyramid looks like:

global wealth report 2015

Credit Suisse says the poorest 71 per cent of the world's population own only 3 per cent of its capital. So where is the rest of the world's money, if not in the hands of the middle class?

Here is a breakdown of the top of the global wealth pyramid (a.k.a. where half of the world's money is):

global wealth report 2015

It's clear that the U.S. dominates in terms of households owning capital, and that holds true at the top of the wealth pyramid. The U.S. is home to half of the world's 123,800 ultra-high-net-worth individuals — defined as "those whose net worth exceeds US$50 million."

To be a member of the world's wealthiest 10 per cent you need US$68,800 in wealth (after debts) and to be in the top one per cent, you have to have a net worth of US$759,900.

Check out a breakdown of how much wealth households own per country.