Gold bars (illustration)
Gold bars (illustration)Thinkstock

A new report issued by Oxfam on Monday in time for the World Economic Forum in Davos this week reveals that the richest 1% of the world now has as much money as the remaining 99% of the global population.

In a particularly shocking statistic, the report found that the 62 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the world. The figure shows a rapid increase in disproportionate wealth distribution, as back in 2010 the top 388 richest people equaled the poorest 50%.

Oxfam's report uses data from Credit Suisse from last October, and includes those who have over $68,800 in cash and assets in the top 10%. Those with over $760,000 are part of the richest 1% of the population.

There are some limitations on the accuracy of the report, with Credit Suisse saying information on the wealth of the richest people in the world is hard to come by and therefore the estimates of the wealth owned by the top 10% and 1% is "likely to err on the low side." Likewise the estimates of wealth in some countries lack accurate statistics.

"Instead of an economy that works for the prosperity of all, for future generations, and for the planet, we have instead created an economy for the 1%," warns the report.

Oxfam Great Britain chief executive Mark Goldring said, "world leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth."

"In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake," said Goldring.

In time for the Davos conference, Oxfam called on world governments to reverse the trend by ensuring workers are paid a living wage, ending the gender pay gap, promoting equal land and inheritance rights for women, taxing wealth, and cutting down lobbying as well as medicine prices.