Research conducted by the British charity Oxfam has concluded that the combined wealth of the world's 85 richest people is equivalent to that owned by the bottom half of the world's population.
Separately, the report, titled "Working for the Few," claims that the richest 1% on the planet — more than the 85 people whose bounty is comparable to the collective wealth of the poorest half — are rich to the tune of $110 trillion. "The top 1% have 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population," the study says.
"This capture of opportunities by the rich at the expense of the poor and middle classes has helped create a situation where seven out of every 10 people in the world live in countries where inequality has increased since the 1980s and 1 percent of the world's families now own 46% of its wealth ($110 trillion)," Oxfam said in a statement announcing the study, published ahead of this week's annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The WEF has identified income inequality as one of the greatest risks facing the world in 2014.