By the Numbers: The growing gap between the world’s rich and poor

By the Numbers: The growing gap between the world’s rich and poorToronto – January 25, 2018 – A new report released by Oxfam International sheds light on the growing income gap between the world’s richest citizens and everyone else, revealing that over 80 percent of the wealth generated globally in the last year went to the wealthiest 1 percent. Below are some of the key findings of the Oxfam global inequality report.


Last year saw the largest increase in the number of billionaires in history. There are now 2,043 billionaires worldwide, with 9 out of 10 being men.

$762 Billion

In 12 months, the wealth of the world’s top billionaires has increased by $762 billion – enough to end extreme poverty seven times over.

6 Times

Between 2006 and 2015, ordinary workers saw their incomes rise by an average of 2 percent per year, while billionaire wealth rose by nearly 13 percent a year – almost six times as much as the typical worker.  


82 percent of all growth in global wealth in the last year went to the top 1 percent of citizens, while the bottom half of humanity saw no increase in wealth at all.


The 42 wealthiest people in the world today have the same amount of wealth as the bottom 3.7 billion people.

2.37 Billion

It is estimated that there are approximately 2.37 billion people in the world today living in poverty. This at a time when the world’s wealthiest citizens have never been richer.


More than half of the world’s population lives on between $2 and $10 a day, including the majority of the world’s workers and small-scale food producers.


Almost half of the global youth labour force is either unemployed or working but living in poverty. Globally, more than 500 million young people are surviving on less than $2 a day.

Source: “Reward work, not wealth,” Oxfam International, Online, 22 January 2018,