Cookies on this website
This website uses cookies. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to improve and monitor the website. A cookie is a small file of letters or numbers that we place on your device, if you agree. For more information please see our cookie statement by following the 'Find out more' link.

A new study has examined the varying fortunes of the world’s richest people between 1988 and 2012 to identify which parts of the world the top 1% come from.

Countries with the world's richest one per cent Nadezda Stoyanova
Countries with the world's richest one per cent


It finds that compared with previous decades, many more of the global super-rich are from emerging countries, with a corresponding decline in the share of those from advanced economies. The region with the fastest growth in its share of the world’s richest elite is developing East Asia and the Pacific, explained largely by China's economic rise. Researchers calculated the global distributions of income based on household surveys and income tax records. They find that the United States still dominates with 38% of the individuals in the global top 1% in 2012, but this is much smaller than in 1998 when Americans made up nearly half of this group. By contrast, China's share in the global top 1% rose from 1.3% to 3.4% between 2005 and 2012. Its share of the world's billionaires is much larger – in 2016, it is 14%. 

Read more on the University website (opens new window)