India is the second most ‘unequal’ nation in the world where millionaires, or those with net assets of $1 million or more, control over half of its total wealth, according to a report by wealth research firm New World Wealth.
After Russia, India is the most unequal country as 54 per cent of its wealth is in the hands of millionaires, the report noted.
India is among the 10 richest countries in the world with a total individual wealth of $5,600 billion, but the average Indian is quite poor.
Globally, Russia is the most unequal country where millionaires control over 62 per cent of total wealth.
In order to determine the level of inequality in the world, New World Wealth looked at the proportion of wealth controlled by millionaires, or high net worth individuals.
“The higher the proportion the more unequal the country is. For instance, if millionaires control over 50 per cent of a country’s wealth then there is very little space for a meaningful middle class,” the report said.
On the other hand, Japan is considered to be the most equal country globally. Millionaires in Japan control only 22 per cent of total wealth there.
Australia is also very equal – millionaires control only 28 per cent of total wealth.
Regarding the US, the report said it is also “surprisingly” equal as millionaires control around 32 per cent of total wealth there. “This is surprising low considering all the negative press that the US gets in terms of income inequality,” it added.
The UK is slightly less equal than the US – millionaires control around 35 per cent of total wealth there. Another interesting measure is the proportion of a country’s wealth held by billionaires (with net assets of $1 billion or more). Russia again tops this list with 26 per cent of total Russian wealth held by billionaires. Japan again is the most equal with billionaires only controlling 3 per cent of total wealth there.
Wealth refers to net assets of a person. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities, the report said, adding that it excludes government funds from its figures.