×

Richest 1% now owns half the world's wealth

  • The wealthiest 1 percent of the world's population now owns more than half of the world's wealth, according a Credit Suisse report.
  • The total wealth in the world grew by 6 percent over the past 12 months to $280 trillion, Credit Suisse said.
  • That was the fastest wealth creation since 2012.

The wealthiest 1 percent of the world's population now owns more than half of the world's wealth, according to a new report.

The total wealth in the world grew by 6 percent over the past 12 months to $280 trillion, marking the fastest wealth creation since 2012, according to the Credit Suisse report. More than half of the $16.7 trillion in new wealth was in the U.S., which grew $8.5 trillion richer.

But that wealth around the world is increasingly concentrated among those at the top. The top 1 percent now owns 50.1 percent of the world's wealth, up from 45.5 percent in 2001.

"So far, the Trump presidency has seen businesses flourish and employment grow, though the ongoing supportive role played by the Federal Reserve has undoubtedly played a part here as well, and wealth inequality remains a prominent issue," said Michael O'Sullivan, chief investment officer for International Wealth Management at Credit Suisse. "Looking ahead, however, high market valuations and property prices may curb the pace of growth in future years."

The world's millionaires are expected to do the best in the coming years. There are now 36 million millionaires in the world, and their numbers are expected to grow to 44 million by 2022.

The U.S. still leads the world in millionaires, with 15.3 million people worth $1 million or more.

Japan ranks second with 2.7 million millionaires, while the U.K. ranks third with 2.2 million. China ranks fifth with 1.9 million millionaires, but its millionaire population is expected to hit 2.8 million by 2022.

CNBC NEWSLETTERS

Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

Please choose a subscription

Please enter a valid email address
Get these newsletters delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and service. Privacy Policy.