NEW DELHI: India is the second most unequal country in the world with the top one per cent of the population owning nearly 60% of the total wealth, according to a report.
According to Global Wealth Report 2016 compiled by Credit Suisse Research Institute, the gap between the world’s haves and have-nots does not appear to be getting any narrower and a mere 0.7% of the global population owns nearly half the world’s wealth.
The report identified Russia as the world’s most unequal country with a huge 74.5% of the nation’s wealth controlled by the richest 1% of people.
In India and Thailand the top 1% own 58.4% and 58% of the wealth, while the figure was 47.9 for Brazil and 43.8 for China, the ‘Independent’ reported.
Noting that Switzerland remained as the wealthiest country in the world, per capita, the report said that overall wealth inequality was a major issue in almost every part of the world.
“While the bottom half collectively own less than 1 per cent of total wealth, the wealthiest top 10% own 89% of all global assets,” the report said.
“Currently, an estimated 9% of adults globally are net debtors, which is without a doubt a worrying development. Our calculations suggest that 80% of adults in India and Africa belong to the bottom half of the global wealth distribution,” it said.
The contrast between China and India may also come as a surprise, given their similarities in terms of huge populations and rapid growth.
Their representation in the global bottom half is very different, and the discrepancy is even greater in the bottom quintile which covers 31% of Indians but only 7% of Chinese, the report said.
Personal wealth in India is dominated by property and other real assets, which make up 86% of estimated household assets, it said.
The report said that while wealth has been rising in India, not everyone has shared in this growth.
“There is still considerable wealth poverty, reflected in the fact that 96% of the adult population has wealth below US $10,000, whereas this percentage is only 68% in China,” it said.
India’s wealth has grown quite quickly since the turn of the century, except during the global financial crisis, it said, adding that wealth per adult fell in USD terms in China, India, Russia, and the UK, largely due to exchange rate changes.