We are the 1%

Yesterday headlines such as “Richest 1% to own more than the rest of the world, Oxfam says” were all over the news. Oh these terrible millionaires and their mansions, private jets, and jewellery – I thought for a second and then wondered who exactly is in the world’s top 1%.

Turns out: my parents are (I’m still a student). If you’re a member of the middle-class in Europe or the US, so are you. According to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic: “To make it into the richest 1 percent globally, all you need is an income of around $34,000.” Now, this comes from an article from 2012 and given the recent rises in inequality, the figure could be different now. But not drastically different.

Of course, the matter is completely different when you look at the top 1% in one of the world’s developed economies. In the US “[t]o be considered in the top 1 percent, household income is at least $521,411.” As always, all depends on the point of reference. I choose for my glass to be half-full.




I just saw this:


The video is simply awful (who chose that font?) and the data is different. So maybe our families are not in the top 1%, after all.

We are the 1%

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