According to the latest data on global wealth from Credit Suisse Group AG, the richest 1% of Indians now own 58% of the country’s wealth. The Zurich-based financial services company has been publishing the annual report on wealth since 2010.
The report says the top 1% of rich Indians have increased their wealth at faster pace in the past two years, boosting their share from 53% in 2015 to 58.4% in the current year.
As per the chart released by the agency (see graph below), the financial disparity has widened quite dramatically between 2010 (40.3%) and 2014 (49%).
Moreover, the top 10% richest Indians have also increased their wealth quite rapidly between 2010 (68.8%) to 2016 (80.7%). On the contrary, the bottom half of Indians own a paltry 2.1% of the country’s wealth, the report says.
Interestingly, India’s richest have got richer regardless of which government is in power, as per the Credit Suisse data.
For example, the richest 1% Indians accounted for 36.8% of the country’s wealth in 2000. In the past sixteen years, it has increased to almost three-fifths of the total wealth in India.
Evidently, the richest lot have remained the biggest beneficiary of the economic growth in the past sixteen years.
Taking the Credit Suisse numbers into account, India is also one of the most unequal societies in the world, in terms of wealth distribution.
For example, the wealth acquired by the top 1% Indians is higher (58.4%) than their counterparts in China (43.8%), Indonesia (49.3%), Brazil (47.9%), and South Africa (41.9%). However, it’s lower than those in Russia where the top 1% richest hold a staggering 74.5% of the nation’s wealth.