BUSINESS

These Six Charts Show The Hopeless Scale of Inequality in India

The top 1% of Indians own 58.4% of the country's household wealth.

24/11/2016 10:35 PM IST | Updated 25/11/2016 7:26 AM IST
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Vivek Prakash / Reuters
High-rise residential towers under construction are pictured behind an old residential building in central Mumbai.

Earlier this week, Credit-Suisse, the global financial services company, released its 2016 Global Wealth Report, and the numbers for India are staggering.

The top 1% of Indians own 58.4% of the country's household wealth, defined as the value of financial assets plus real assets like housing owned by households, minus their debts. The bottom half owns less than 3% put together. Among major economies, only Russia is more unequal.

These numbers show the scale of relative inequality. But for India, these numbers are all the more dire, given how low the absolute values of wealth are for most of the country.

In absolute terms, over 96% per cent of the country is worth less than 10,000 USD. In China, for comparison, that proportion is 67%.

Taken together, the numbers place Indians firmly among the world's poorest, while China dominates the world's middle and upper middle class.

To be sure, India's mean and median wealth have grown over the last 15 years.

But the share of wealth of the top 1% has been growing too.

Are you in the top 1%?

According to Credit-Suisse's estimates, the minimum wealth of someone in the top 1% of Indians is 32,898 USD. So if your net worth (the value of the house you own and your savings, minus your debt) is more than ₹22.6 lakh, you're in that top 1%.

Also Read: INTERACTIVE: Can Facebook Estimate Better Than You How Rich You Really Are?

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