world wealth distribution
you might have heard about the new report on world distribution of household wealth by the world institute for development economics research.
i haven't scrutinized the study's design, methodology, or scope of coverage -- and i know far too little about global stratification research to offer a decent evaluation anyway -- but i'm intrigued by the data.
for purposes of this report, wealth is defined in terms of net worth or the ownership of capital: the value of physical and financial assets less debts. i cannot believe that such quantities are easily or consistently measured across nations. nevertheless, according to the report, average wealth amounted to about ...
• $181,000 per person in japan,
• $171,000 in switzerland,
• $144,000 in the u.s.,
• $131,000 in kuwait,
• $127,000 in the u.k.,
• $81,000 in norway,
• $10,000 in turkey,
• $5,000 in cuba,
• $3,500 in iraq,
• $1,400 in indonesia,
• $1,100 in north korea,
• $1,100 in india,
• $400 in nigeria.
i just picked a few countries, but you get the idea. most u.s. households are quite rich by world standards. aggregating across nations, there are some intriguing summary statistics ...
• assets of $2,200 per adult placed a household in the top half of the world wealth ranking; this group owns about 99 percent of global assets.
• $61,000 in assets is needed to reach the richest 10 percent; this group owns 85 percent of the world's wealth.
• it takes more than $500,000 in assets to reach the richest 1 percent; this group owns 40 percent of global assets.
how is the report being received by the sociologists and economists that we know and trust? if the findings can be considered reliable and valid by social scientific standards, you might be interested in using some of these handy powerpoint slides and other figures in teaching.