Report says richest 1% will control most wealth by 2016

ZURICH —The world’s richest 1% will soon amass wealth that represents more than the entirety of that owned by the rest of the people on our planet, a new report released Monday by the British anti-poverty charity Oxfam claims.

The study, published ahead of this week’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, suggests that by 2016 the gap between the world’s rich and poor will widen to the extent that those at the top of the income pile will control over 50% of total global wealth. That percentage is up from 48% in 2014.

In 2014, the 80 richest people had a collective wealth of $1.9 trillion — a rise of $600 billion, or 50% in four years, according to the report, Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More. The report used data taken from Forbes’ billionaires list and also research conducted by Swiss financial services group Credit Suisse.

The increasing disparity comes as dozens of heads of state and hundreds of chief executives gather in the Swiss Alps under pressure to find ways of reducing inequality. President Obama is also expected on Tuesday in his State of the Union Address to unveil a series of proposals aimed at alleviating economic inequality in the United States.

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