The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

We knew China was rich. But not this rich.

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The chart above, from Credit Suisse’s 2014 Global Wealth Report, shows global wealth broken down by deciles, or every 10 percent of the distribution. India accounts for over a quarter of all the people in the bottom half of the global wealth distribution, while half of all African adults are in the bottom 20 percent. North Americans and Europeans are concentrated at the higher end of the spectrum, together accounting for 64 percent of adults in the world’s wealthiest 10 percent.

The graph particularly shows China’s success in becoming an upper-middle-income country in recent years. China now has more people in the top 10 percent of global wealth holders than any country except the U.S. and Japan, according to the report.

It’s important to note that the chart shows the population distribution, not the absolute amount of holdings. Taken together, the left half of the chart own less than 1 percent of total global wealth. The richest 10 percent hold 87 percent of the world’s wealth, and the top percentile alone accounts for nearly half of global assets.

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