110 People Control 35 Percent of Russia's Wealth

How It Works
Oct. 9 2013 5:21 PM

Where the Money Is

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A man pours champagne in glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013.

Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

Credit Suisse is out with its Global Wealth Report for 2013, looking at the distribution of household wealth around the world. Lukas Alpert of the Wall Street Journal pulls out the eye-popping stat that 35 percent of Russia’s wealth is now concentrated in the hands of just 110 people. Russia has just one billionaire for every $11 billion in household wealth compared to one for every $170 billion worldwide.

Worldwide, “personal wealth increased by 4.9 percent during the year to mid-2013 and now totals USD $241 trillion,” according to the report. U.S. wealth increased by 12.7 percent to $72.1 trillion.  But as the charts below, whether you look at the change in wealth in total figures or in percentage, it was a rough year for Japan, which lost $5.8 trillion, or 20 percent of its net worth largely due to the falling yen/dollar exchange rate:

japan
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Ignore the big percentage change for Libya, which has had unreliable statistics for the last few years.

As the chart below shows, even with the rise of the BRICS countries, North America and Europe still control a disproportionate amount of the world’s wealth:

wealth2

According to the report, there are currently 98,700 “ultra high net worth individuals,” those whose net worth exceeds $50 million. 45 percent of them live in the United States.  

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

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