The World’s Billionaires Have More Wealth than 4.6 Billion People: Oxfam Report

The World’s Billionaires Have More Wealth than 4.6 Billion People: Oxfam Report

Oxfam’s study, Time to Care, was released ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum. It says the world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 60 per cent of the world’s population

Oxfam unveiled a new study on income inequality, titled Time to Care, ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). This report reveals how 2,153 billionaires in the world have more wealth than 4.6 billion people, i.e., 60 percent of the world’s population. It also highlights how 63 Indian billionaires have more money than the 2019 Union budget, which amounted to INR 24,42,200 crore. This means India’s richest 1 percent have four times the total for 70 percent poorest, i.e., 953 million people. The report also says the number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade although their combined wealth declined last year.

Commenting on the findings, CEO Oxfam India, Amitabh Behar said, "The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies, and too few governments are committed to these."

He added, “Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist."

The five-day summit of the WEF, which began on Monday, is expected to focus on the issues of gender and income inequality. WEF’s annual Global Risks Report also reveals how global inequality has seen a decline over the past thirty years but domestic income inequality has increased in many countries, especially in advanced economies. The Oxfam report says "sexist" economies are leading to the inequality crisis by ensuring a wealthy elite accumulates big fortunes at the expense of the common man, particularly poverty-stricken women and girls. As per the report, the 22 wealthiest men in the world have more money than all the women in Africa. The global survey also highlights how girls and women dedicate 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work everyday, contributing around $10.8 trillion annually to the global economy.

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By Ayesha Hoda
Ayesha Hoda is a senior communications professional and writer, currently based in Dubai, UAE.