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The top 1 per cent of India’s population owns 58.4 per cent of the country’s wealth, as per the Global Wealth Databook 2016 released by Credit Suisse Research Institute. The wealth share of India’s richest has seen a sharp surge from 53 per cent share in 2015 and 49 per cent share in 2014.
In 2016, India ranks next only to Russia where the top 1 per cent own 74.5 per cent of the country’s wealth, the report’s data showed. The top 1 per cent in other BRICS nations rank better than India, with top 1 per cent in China owning 43.8 per cent of the country’s wealth and the corresponding wealth share for the richest in Brazil being 47.9 per cent. In South Africa, the top 1 per cent own 41.9 per cent of the country’s wealth.
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The lowest wealth share of top 1 per cent of the population is seen in Hungary, where the 1 per cent of the richest own 17.6 per cent of the country’s wealth, the report said.
The stark inequality is also reflected when one looks at India’s wealth share data for top 10 per cent of the population, which owns 80.7 per cent of the country’s wealth.
As per the report, the country has 2,48,000 adults in the top 1 per cent of global wealth holders, constituting a share of 0.5 per cent. The growth in wealth has been uneven in India with 96 per cent of the adult population at the base of the wealth pyramid with wealth below $10,000, the report said. Only a small fraction of the adult population of 0.3 per cent has net worth over $100,000, it said.
The number of millionaires remained flat at 178,000 with $973 billion in wealth. Among them, ultra-high-net worth individuals grew 5.2 per cent to 2,260, including 1,040 with more than $100 million. The number of millionaires is projected to increase by 9.5 per cent in the next five years to 280,000 in 2021. In terms of composition, wealth in India was dominated by property and other real assets accounting for 86 per cent of its estimated household assets. Personal debts were estimated to be 9 per cent of gross assets, much lower than in most developed countries.
Wealth in India in local currency terms increased 5.1 per cent in 2016, while in dollar terms, it decreased by 0.8 per cent to $3.099 trillion in 2016. Annual growth of wealth per adult in rupees has averaged 6 per cent during 2000-2016.