World’s 8 Richest Have as Much Wealth as Bottom Half of Global Population

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Clockwise from top left: Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega Gaona, Warren E. Buffett, Carlos Slim Helú, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Lawrence J. Ellison, Michael R. Bloomberg. Credit NYT; Reuters; Reuters; Reuters; Getty; European Pressphoto Agency; Getty; AP

 

A report by the charity Oxfam has found that eight men now hold as much wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the world’s poorest half, highlighting the stark inequality between the planet’s rich and poor.

The report, based on Forbes’s annual list of billionaires, was prepared for release with this week’s gathering of world leaders and business elites at Davos, Switzerland. It follows up on a similar study conducted a year ago that found that the world’s richest 62 people had as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. Oxfam said it revised the findings based on new data gathered by Credit Suisse.

The study listed the eight wealthiest individuals along with their net worth as estimated by Forbes, whose annual survey depends on a range of sources to tally an individual’s wealth:

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was the richest person on the list, with a net worth of $75 billion.

Amancio Ortega Gaona, the Spanish founder of the fashion company Inditex, best known for its oldest and biggest brand, Zara, has a net worth of $67 billion.

Warren E. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has a net worth of $60.8 billion.

Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican telecommunications magnate, has a net worth of $50 billion.

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, has a net worth of $45.2 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s creator, has a net worth of $44.6 billion.

Lawrence J. Ellison, the founder of Oracle, has a net worth of $43.6 billion.

Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and founder of the media giant Bloomberg L.P., has a net worth of $40 billion.

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