The richest one percent are as wealthy as the rest of the world combined

Oxfam research has revealed the startling extent to which inequality is on the rise

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Bill Gates, an ever-present member of the richest one percent

Using data from a recent Credit Suisse study, a new Oxfam report, released in the lead-up to Davos, has shown the combined wealth of world’s richest one percent equals that of the rest of the world in total. The release falls in step with predictions made this time last year, that the world’s richest one percent would overtake the rest, and comes as a stark reminder to those attending Davos that inequality is still on the rise.

Another of the report’s key takeaways is that the 62 richest people in the world own as much as the poorest half of the global population, down from 80 last year and 388 in 2010. “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few that you could fit them all on a single coach”, said Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB CEO, in a statement.

Oxfam found that nine out of 10 WEF corporate partners had a presence in at least one tax haven

“World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.”

Goldring urged an end to the “era of tax havens”, which, he said, has allowed rich individuals and multinationals to hide “ever increasing amounts of money offshore”. Oxfam also found that nine out of 10 WEF corporate partners had a presence in at least one tax haven, and the report, it is hoped, should go some way towards dissuading those in attendance from partaking in these schemes.

Inequality was a major talking point at last year’s event, and this year is expected to be no different, spearheaded by findings much like those contained in the Oxfam report.