The combined wealth of the world's richest 85 people is now equivalent to that owned by half of the world's population – or 3.5 billion of the poorest people – according to a new report from Oxfam.
In a report titled "Working for the Few" released Monday, the global aid and development organization detailed the extent of global economic inequality created by the rapidly increasing wealth of the richest, warning of the major risks it poses to "human progress."
According to the report, 210 people have become billionaires in the past year, joining a select group of 1,426 individuals with a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion.
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It added that the wealth of the richest one percent of people in the world now amounts to $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population.
"This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems," the report said.
"Instead of moving forward together, people are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown," it added.
The report comes ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos which kicks off later this week, and Oxfam is calling on the global political and business leaders attending the meeting to take steps to turn around the rapidly exacerbating inequality.
Some recommendations include refraining from the dodging of taxes and avoid using economic wealth to seek political favors.