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Indian inequality higher than Pak, China, Bangladesh; 92% adults' net worth less than $10,000; of 0.5% plus $100,000

By Our Representative
Giving a scary picture of inequalities in India, the recently-released “Global Wealth Report 2017”, published by Credit-Suisse, a Swiss multinational financial services holding company, headquartered in Zurich, has said that India’s 92% of adults “have net worth less than USD 10,000”, while “a small fraction of the population (just 0.5% of adults) has a net worth over USD 100,000.”
While the 0.5% adult population of India “translates into 4.2 million people” because of its huge population, the report says, “By our estimates, 1,820 adults have wealth over USD 50 million, and 760 have more than USD 100 million.”
A further breakup of wealth among the top echelons reveals that 10% of the adult population has 73.3% of wealth, 5% has 64.1% of wealth, and 1% has 45.1% of wealth.
In absolute numbers, the report says, as of mid-2017, 770,089,000 adult individuals have a wealth range of under USD 10,000, 60,116,000 have a wealth range between USD 10,000 and 100,000, 4,158,000 have wealth range between USD 100,000-1 million, and 245,000 individuals have wealth more than USD 1 million.
In USD
Pointing out that “while wealth has been rising in India, not everyone has shared in this growth”, the report’s data show that India’s Gini index – an internationally recognized, most commonly used measure of inequality, with 100% representing maximal inequality – is found to be 83%. By comparison, Pakistan’s Gini index is 52.6%, Bangladesh’s 57.9%, Sri Lanka’s 66.5%, Nepal’s 67.3%, and China’s 78.9%.
In fact, says the report, inequalities have risen alongside the total wealth in India increasing fourfold between 2000 and 2017, reaching USD 5 trillion in 2017, adding, “The country’s high wealth inequality and immense population mean that India also has a significant number of members in the top wealth echelons.”
At the same time, it notes, “Despite this remarkable increase and having four times the population of the United States, total wealth in India is comparable to the level for the United States 90 years ago”, adding, “We expect it to reach USD 6 trillion in real terms by 2022, which is comparable with the level in the United States in 1936. India could reach 370,000 millionaires in 2022, an increase of more than 50% in the next five years.”
According to the report, “Personal wealth in India is dominated by property and other real assets, which make up 86% of estimated household assets”, adding, “India is also notable for the rise in household debt, which we estimate to be close to 20% in terms of US dollars.” Thus, the debts per adult, the report’s figures show, have risen from USD 226 in 2007 to almost double as much, USD 609 in 2017.

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