Wealth is the value of everything you own: stocks, bonds, your home, your car — minus your debts. And while income inequality has taken center stage in debates about the growing gap between rich and poor, what’s happening with wealth paints an even more staggering picture.
The wealth share of the 0.01 percent, or the top 16,000 families in America, has skyrocketed. That tiny group now owns 12 percent of the wealth in America.
The wealth of the larger one percent — and even the .5 percent — isn’t rising.
These days, if you want to be among the biggest winners, says UC Berkeley researcher Gabriel Zucman, who co-wrote a new report on wealth, it helps to be in the 0.1 percent or better.
Around 50 percent of the US population, Zucman said, has zero net wealth. Their debts, effectively, equal their assets.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.