62 richest people in the world own as much as the poorest 3.6billion, report reveals

The 62 richest people in the world own as much as the poorest 3.6billion, a new report has revealed.

Oxfam's publication also reveals that the wealthiest one per cent, around 73million out of the 7.3bn people in the world, now own the same as everyone else put together.

The new findings have been released ahead of the annual World Economic Forum of global political and business leaders in Swiss ski resort Davos.

The report found that the gap between rich and poor had widened 'dramatically' over the past 12 months.

As recently as 2010, the combined wealth of the 388 richest people was needed to equal that of the poorest half of the world, but that number has since plummeted to 80 last year and 62 now.

The total wealth of the poorest half of the world fell by a trillion US dollars (£694bn) since 2010 even though the actual number of people in this group rose by 400 million, said the report, An Economy for the 1%.

Meanwhile, the wealth of the super-rich 62 rose by more than half a trillion dollars over the same period to 1.76 trillion (£1.22trn). This equates to an average of around £20 billion for each of the 62, who include just nine women.

Although the number of people living in extreme poverty halved between 1990 and 2010 globally, the average annual income of the poorest 10 per cent has increased by less than three dollars (£2.08) a year over the past 25 years.

Globally, the super-rich are estimated to have a total of 7.6trn dollars (£5.3trn) stashed in offshore accounts, depriving governments around the world of 190bn dollars (£132bn) in tax revenues each year, said the report.

As much as 30 per cent of all African financial wealth is believed to be held offshore, costing 14 billion dollars (£9.7bn) in lost tax revenue each year - enough to save four million children's lives a year through improved healthcare and employ enough teachers to get every African child into school.

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