I was just alerted to a groundbreaking, first of it's kind study by the World Institute for Development of Economics Research that shows "assets of $2,200 per adult placed a household in the top half of the world wealth distribution in the year 2000." (1) Let me state that in a different way... 50% of the world's population has assets of less than $2200. They represent just 1% of the total world wealth. Astounding. But that's just the beginning of the astounding numbers.
Want to be among the richest 10% of adults in the world? No problem... only $61,000 in assets is required.
Shooting to be among the top 1% of wealth in the world? You only need $500,000 in assets.
This study is "the first of its kind to cover all countries in the world and all major components of household wealth, including financial assets and debts, land, buildings and other tangible property" (1) This is physical and financial assets minus debts.
''Income inequality has been rising for the past 20 to 25 years, and we think that is true for inequality in the distribution of wealth,'' said James Davies, professor of economics at the University of Western Ontario, one of the report's authors. - (2)
The study shows that 85% of the worlds wealth is owned by 10% of the population. The top 1% of the world population owns 40% of the wealth all by itself!
These numbers literally floor me.
Intuitively I knew this to be true. I have to admit that. But seeing the numbers on the screen hit me like a ton of bricks.
It makes me wonder... what can we do?
The "we" I'm referring to is the ActiveRain community. Some of the brightest real estate people I've met to date are right here. I'm very impressed by what I see. There are almost 12,000 of us now. How do we put our heads together to come up with strategies to help lessen the gap, create opportunities for more and provide a path for home ownership?
Home ownership is the key. How can we lead the way? How can we make our collective voices work for change? I'm not sure I have any answers. But I'm relatively sure that together we can make a difference. This seems to be right up our alley. Wouldn't you agree?
EDIT: i have posted a followup to this post here: