To be among the global top 10 percent, you may not need as much money as you think. According to the 2018 Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse Research Institute, you don't even need six figures.
A net worth of $93,170 U.S. is enough to make you richer than 90 percent of people around the world, Credit Suisse reports. The institute defines net worth, or "wealth," as "the value of financial assets plus real assets (principally housing) owned by households, minus their debts."
More than 102 million people in America are in the 10 percent worldwide, Credit Suisse reports, far more than from any other country.
You need significantly less to be among the global 50 percent: If you have just $4,210 to your name, you're still richer than half of the world's residents. And it takes a net worth of $871,320 to join the global 1 percent. More than 19 million Americans qualify, Credit Suisse reports.
These numbers reflect the extreme level of persistent wealth inequality. As Credit Suisse puts it, "While the bottom half of adults collectively owns less than 1 percent of total wealth, the richest decile (top 10 percent of adults) owns 85 percent of global wealth, and the top percentile alone accounts for almost half of all household wealth (47 percent)."
The good news is, "there are signs that wealth inequality is no longer rising," Credit Suisse says.
The share of financial assets among many of the richest people and richest countries "peaked in 2015 and has been declining since then. In previous reports, we predicted that wealth inequality would follow suit — possibly with a slight lag — and there is evidence that this is now the case. The share of the top decile and the top 5 percent remains at the same level as in 2016, while the share of the top 1 percent has edged down from 47.5 percent to 47.2 percent according to our best estimate."
It's too early to conclude that wealth inequality is on a downward trend, Credit Suisse reports, but "the prevailing evidence suggests it may well have leveled out, albeit at a very high level."
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