According to Oxfam, in 2019 the world’s billionaires had more wealth than 60% of the global population. Then there’s the world’s richest 1%, most of them men, who hold double the wealth of 90% of the global population.
The richest 22 men in the world own more wealth than all of the women in Africa.
The criteria for ticking over into this elite category varies from country to country.
The Middle East is the most prestigious place to rank within the top 1% of earners, with Qatar home to the highest requirement with pre-tax earnings of R25,3 million a year.
The top two countries, according to research by international real estate and investment immigration firm Astons, via BusinessTech, with the widest reality gap between the top 1% and the average citizen, are Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In Qatar, there is a 1 321% difference between the average income of R1,78 million compared to the top 1% threshold, while in the UAE, the difference sits at 1 108%, compared to a threshold of R14,65 million.
South Africa comes in third with a reality gap of 929% between the average citizen and the top 1%.
To crack the 1% in South Africa, you would need to earn R2,54 million a year, before tax, compared to the average income (as reported by Astons) of R247 000.
While Qatar and the UAE report the highest reality gaps, according to the World Inequality Database (WID),
South Africa is by most contemporary measures the most unequal country in the world. This is a clear legacy of colonialism and apartheid, where minority rule was premised on racially motivated exclusion of the majority from ownership and participation in the economy.
However, despite having a progressive constitution and policy mandate, post-apartheid democratic society seems to have reproduced inequality along the same lines.
If you’re keen to check out where you fit into the grand scheme of things, head here to use the WID’s handy income calculator.
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