A man counts US dollars at a money exchange. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Reuters

As the wealthy continue to accumulate money faster than average income earners, the rich-poor divide will only widen over the next few years.

And in 12 years’ time, more than two-thirds of the world’s wealth will be in the hands of just 1 per cent of the population, according to the latest research.

The wealth of the richest people has been growing by 6 per cent every year since 2008 and as of last year, the top 1 per cent owned half of the global wealth.

If the same growth rate is observed over the next several years, the richest will control 64 per cent of the total wealth by 2030, according to estimates by the UK’s House of Commons published online on Saturday.

In comparison, the remaining 99 per cent or more than 7 billion people have seen their wealth grow at a lower pace of only 3 per cent per year and if the trend continues, they are projected to have only $195 trillion in wealth by 2030.

Estimated distribution of global wealth under different scenarios, 2017-2030

  Wealthiest 1% Least wealthy 99%
Share of total wealth in 2017 50% 50%
Total wealth, annual rate of
increase 2000-17
6% 5%
Total wealth, annual rate of
increase 2008-17 
6% 3%
Share of total wealth in 2030    
Assuming total wealth grows
at 2000-17 annual rate
54% 46%
Assuming total wealth grows
at 2008-17 annual rate
64% 36%


The figures used in the analysis were based on the data published by Credit Suisse in the Global Wealth Report and Global Wealth Databook.

There are no similar analysis to determine the rich-poor divide within the UAE, a favourite destination for both multi-millionaires and average-income earning expatriates.

Latest reports, however, would show that Dubai is increasingly becoming a magnet for the world’s wealthy, with the population of residents owning $30 million or more in personal assets increasing by 12 per cent between 2015 and 2016 alone.

According to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report, the population of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UNHWIs), each owning at least $30 million in assets, is expected to jump by 60 per cent by 2026.

Dubai is home to the highest concentration of millionaires and multi-millionaires (those with at least $10 million) and UNHWIs for any city in the Middle East and accounts for 63 per cent of the UAE’s rich population.