The Global Wealth Gap Has Grown Historically Wide

According to a new report from Credit Suisse AG (NYSE: CS), the global wealth gap has grown to historic proportions.

The top 0.7% of adults by net worth now control more than 45% of the world's total wealth.

Credit Suisse's wealth analysis breaks the global population into four groups: those who have less than $10,000 USD; those with between $10,000 and $100,000; those with between $100,000 and $1 million; and those with more than $1 million.

With those ranges, you can clearly see the how bad the global wealth gap has become:

historic global

More than 3.3 billion across the globe have less than $10,000 today, according to Credit Suisse. That comes out to roughly 71% of the global adult population.

On the other end, just 34 million people globally have more than $1 million. But those 34 million people control more than 45% of the world's total wealth. That's worth nearly $113 trillion.

The problem looks even worse if you combine the top two brackets. After doing that, you find that the top 8.1% of the population controls an astonishing 84.6% of the world's total wealth.

What would be defined as the "middle class" in this chart shows that roughly 1 billion adults have between $10,000 and $100,000. That middle class controls just 12.5% of the world's total wealth.

"Discussions of wealth holdings often focus on the top part of the pyramid, paying little attention to the base and middle sections," the report said. "This is unfortunate because the latter segments account for USD 39 trillion of household wealth, which means they are of considerable economic importance. Addressing the needs of these asset owners can drive new trends in both the consumer and financial industries."

And while the wealth gap problem extends across the globe, the distribution of wealth in the United States is particularly troubling. Yes, the American middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. Here's your proof...

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