The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires was $ 9.4 trillion last year, up from $ 8.6 trillion in 2018.
Why did billionaires have such a good year? “A flood of liquidity from central banks” lifted stock markets around the world in 2019, increasing the wealth of billionaires, says the report published on Tuesday. “It reflects almost a decade of global economic expansion following the financial crisis [2008-9], a period that saw large gains in financial markets and economic recovery stimulated by fiscal and monetary policies, “said Maya Imberg, senior director at Wealth-X.
Most billionaires are in Europe – 847 in total, closely followed by North America, which had 834. But the wealth of North American billionaires of $ 3.5 trillion far exceeded that of Europeans, of 2,500 billions of dollars.
Such a huge wealth distributed among less than three thousand people is in stark contrast to the other end of the spectrum and highlights the global wealth gap.
According to data collected by Bloomberg Businessweek in September, 1.5 billion adults worldwide have a fortune of $ 1,000 or less.
Analyzing the World Bank figures from 2015 (the latest estimates), 10% of the global population, or 734 million people, live below the international poverty line, with less than $ 1.90 a day.
In recent decades, the population living below the international poverty line has declined; In 1990, it was 36% of the global population, or 1.9 billion people. Unfortunately, the trend does not seem to continue.
“Following the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the fall in oil prices, this trend will be reversed in 2020,” according to the World Bank. “The COVID-19 crisis will have a disproportionate impact on the poor, through job losses, loss of remittances, rising prices and disruptions in services such as education and health care.”
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