The world's richest 62 people are as wealthy as the poorest 50 percent

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World's Richest 62 People Are As Wealthy As The Poorest 50 Percent

The gap between the poor and extremely rich is widening, and it's a troubling trend, according to a new report.

The annual Oxfam International report says the world's 62 richest people have the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50 percent of the world. For comparison, it took 80 billionaires last year to make up half the world's wealth. Further back in 2010, that number was 388.

According to the report, there's been a drastic change of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Since 2010, the wealth of the world's poorest has dropped by about $1 trillion, or 41 percent. The wealthiest have seen their riches rise by about $540 billion in that same time frame.

Oxfam's executive director said, "World leaders' concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action -- the world has become a much more unequal place and the trend is accelerating."

See more of the 10 richest people in the U.S.:

Forbes' top 10 richest people in America
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The world's richest 62 people are as wealthy as the poorest 50 percent

10. Larry Page

Net worth: $33.3 billion, up $1.8 billion
Source: Google
Age: 42

  • With Google cofounder Sergey Brin, announced in August that Google will create Alphabet as a  parent company in the fourth quarter. Their aim: to “get more ambitious things done”
  • Page will shift from CEO of Google to CEO of Alphabet
  • Google - including YouTube - is one of the multiple companies that will be under the Alphabet umbrella
  • Google stock hit an all-time high in July

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

9. Jim Walton

Net worth: $33.7 billion, down $2.3 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Age: 67

  • Sits on the board of Wal-Mart.
  • Youngest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
  • FORBES estimates that he owns nearly 13% of Wal-Mart
  • Jim is chairman and CEO of family-owned Arvest Bank, which has $16 billion in assets

Wal-Mart stock is down 15%

(AP Photo/April L. Brown)

8.  Michael Bloomberg  

Net worth: $38.6 billion, up $3.6 billion
Source: Bloomberg LP
Age: 73

  • Fortune up $3.6 billion since the 2014 Forbes 400
  • He returned to the CEO role at Bloomberg LP in late 2014
  • Bloomberg LP revenues are now estimated at more than $9 billion
  • In June Mike Bloomberg announced a $100 million donation to Cornell University's technology campus in New York
  • Lifetime philanthropic giving is $3.9 billion

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

7.  Mark Zuckerberg  

Net worth: $40.3 billion, up $6.3 billion
Source: Facebook
Age: 31

  • In August Facebook had 1 billion users in a single day for the first time ever
  • A year after buying virtual reality startup Oculus, Facebook says the Rift VR headset will start shipping to customers in early 2016.
  • Net worth up 18.5% since 2014 Forbes 400, as Facebook stock rises by more than 25%.
  • Zuckerberg cracks top 10 on Forbes 400 for first time

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

T-5. David Koch

Net worth: $41 billion, down $1 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 75

  • Net worth down 2% since 2014 Forbes 400
  • New York City’s richest resident
  • Shares control of conglomerate Koch Industries with brother Charles.  David runs the company’s chemical-trading business
  • The brothers’ fortunes fell slightly in the past year owing to weakness in the manufacturing and pipeline sectors

(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

5.  Charles Koch

Net worth: $41 billion, down $1 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 79    

  • Net worth down 2% since 2014 Forbes 400 due to market pressure on commodities and industrial companies
  • Charles runs $15 billion (revenues) Koch Industries, the country’s second-largest private company with $115 billion in sales.
  • He’s been chairman since 1967, when the company was valued at $50 million; it is now worth an estimated $100 billion
  • Political heavyweight compares his crusade for smaller government and economic liberty to the campaign for civil rights, and hopes his network of several hundred wealthy conservatives will spend up to $300 million on candidates and another $600 million on efforts to reduce regulation and reform the criminal justice system

(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

4. Jeff Bezos

Net worth: $47 billion, up $16.5 billion
Age: 51

  • Bezos is the biggest dollar-gainer on the list
  • Climbs into the top 10 richest on The Forbes 400 for the first time thanks to surge in shares
  • In September he announced that his aerospace company, Blue Origin, would spend over $200 million to build reusable rockets and launch them into orbit from a site at Cape Canaveral by the end of the decade.  

(Photo by Nicole Craine/WireImage)

3.  Larry Ellison   

Net worth: $47.5 billion, down $2.5 billion
Source: Oracle
Age: 71

  • Fortune down $2.5 billion in the past year as Oracle’s share price fell
  • His net worth is down 5% since 2014 Forbes 400        
  • Stepped down as CEO of Oracle in September 2014, stayed on as chairman.  
  •  In June he announced that Oracle would expand its cloud-computing business, putting it in direct competition with’s Web Services business.
  • Both of his children are Hollywood moguls. Daughter Megan has financed films like Zero Dark Thirty and American Hustle. Son David has produced franchises like The Terminator and Mission: Impossible.

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

2.  Warren Buffett  

Net worth: $62 billion, down $5 billion
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
Age: 85 

  • Fortune down $5 billion in the past year because share price of Berkshire Hathaway fell
  • His net worth is down 7.5% since 2014 Forbes 400
  • Berkshire Hathaway in August announced its biggest acquisition ever, agreeing to pay $37 billion for Precision Castparts, a maker of aerospace, power and industrial parts
  • In addition to Precision, Berkshire owns companies including Geico, Dairy Queen and Fruit of the  Loom
  • This year teamed up again with 3G Capital, a firm run by a trio of Brazilian billionaires, to merge Kraft Foods with Heinz. Buffett has joined forces last year to help finance 3G’s merger of Burger King and coffeehouse chain Tim Hortons
  • Lifetime philanthropic giving: $25.6 billion

(Photo by Eric Frances/Getty Images)

1.  Bill Gates

Net worth: $76 billion, down $5 billion
Source: Microsoft
Age: 59

  • World’s richest man for 22nd year in a row
  • Fortune down 6%
  • Gates own just under 3% of Microsoft, which accounts for 13% of his total fortune. His private investment firm, Cascade, makes up the rest, investing in stocks, bonds, private equity and real estate
  • Lifetime philanthropic giving: $31.5 billion

(Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)


The report from Oxfam, a worldwide anti-poverty group, was intentionally released shortly before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some of the world's wealthiest businesspeople and most powerful politicians will gather to discuss solutions to world poverty.

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