Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are We Really "Rich" Americans?

We have always been told that we Americans are blessed. We are the wealthiest nation in the world and are viewed with envy by the rest of the "poor" world. In fact, we Americans make up 4.5% of the world's population, and we control 39% of the world's wealth. That is an enormous imbalance. But I don't feel so "rich." Do you?

Well, the recent focus on wealth in the USA might explain why we don't feel so rich. We now know that 10% of the people in the USA hold 90% of our nation's wealth. When you put that information in a global perspective, the reality hits home. The top 10% of America's wealthiest comprise 0.45% of the world's population, but they control over 35% of the world's wealth. The rest of us Americans (4.05% of the world population) have 4% of the world's wealth. Hey! That makes us pretty "average!"

Statistical resources:
US population of 307,007 million with a world population of 6.775 billion.
39% of world's wealth from Jack Ewing, ""America's Dominance in Global Wealth Is Slipping," New York Times (September 14, 2010)

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