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Wealth: A few control almost all of it

January 22, 2014: 9:47 AM ET

The richest people in the world are very, very rich.

The fat cats at the top control nearly all the world's wealth, according a report from Oxfam, an anti-poverty group.

The bottom two-thirds, meanwhile, own just a tiny sliver.

income-inequality_614xa

Oxfam released the report ahead of the World Economic Forum, which called widening income inequality one of the greatest worldwide risks in the next 12 to 18 months.

Pope Francis called on global leaders gathering at the Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to do more to help the poor.

"I ask you to ensure humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," the pope said.

Many of the richest on Earth live in the United States, which has the largest share of the world's millionaires.

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In many countries, the rich are only getting richer. They are capturing an ever-growing share of the nation's income, especially in places such as the United States and Australia.

chart-richest-income

In the United States, the disparity has only grown greater. By 2012, the top 1% controlled nearly 20% of the nation's income.

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About This Author
Tami Luhby
Tami Luhby
Senior writer, CNNMoney

Tami Luhby is a senior writer at CNNMoney and covers income inequality, state fiscal problems, unemployment, housing policy and other economic issues. Luhby previously covered personal finance for Newsday and banking for Crain's New York Business.

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