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9 Oct, 2013 16:00

Gap between rich & poor in Russia among world's biggest

Gap between rich & poor in Russia among world's biggest

Wealth inequality in Russia is one of the world's highest. A report by Credit Suisse says 35 percent of Russian household wealth is controlled by just 110 billionaires. Worldwide, billionaires collectively account for 1 to 2 percent of the total wealth.

“Russia has the highest level of wealth inequality in the world, apart from small Caribbean nations with resident billionaires,” Credit Suisse’s annual global wealth report says.

According to the study there’s one billionaire for every $11 billion in household wealth in Russia. This compares to one billionaire per $170 billion in the rest of the world.

An earlier report by Forbes showed the number of  billionaires in Russia has increased 13-fold since the turn of the century – from eight in 2000 to 110 people in 2013.

The huge wealth gap is a “parody” of the hopes for a prosperous egalitarian society that some had  after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia's 110 billionaires own around $10,976 billion in assets, but the median wealth is much lower, with half of the adult population owning $871 billion. This compares to $301,000 average wealth per adult in the US, and $513,000 in Switzerland -  the country with the highest wealth per adult in the world.

In a broader context, global wealth has more than doubled since 2000, reaching a new all-time high of $241 trillion. The household prosperity was up mostly  on the back of economic  growth and  rising population levels in emerging nations, the report explained.