Poll: Richest 3 Percent Worldwide Collect 20 Percent Of All Income

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PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — The wealthiest 3 percent of citizens in 131 countries hold 20 percent of the collective household income, U.S. polling agency Gallup said Friday.

Results indicated the poorest 54 percent in each country hold about a fifth of the country’s collective household income, Gallup said. Income inequity is greatest in sub-Saharan Africa and eastern Asia, predominately China, results indicated.

Gallup noted that many sub-Saharan African countries experienced strong economic growth during the past decade, driven largely by export demands and rising foreign investment. However, much of the resulting wealth is controlled by regimes that fail to invest adequately in public services or infrastructure that would improve access to economic opportunities for the poor, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

Gallup said the richest 6 percent of Nigerians hold 40 percent of the population’s total household income.

Gallup said its aggregated income data from 2006 to 2012 estimated the richest 4 percent of Americans and the poorest 54 percent each have about a fifth of the country’s collective household income, which is similar to global data, Gallup said.

In China, the richest 2 percent and the poorest 60 percent each hold about 20 percent of the collective household income, Gallup said.

Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults per survey administration. Income data come from interviews conducted in 131 countries and regions from 2006 to 2012. Data for each country have been aggregated over multiple administrations. The margin of error ranges from 1.4 percentage points to 4.7 percentage points.

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