A new study by the International Monetary Fund and Oxford Economics has revealed that most of the wealth you own is in the hands of your parents.
“What is happening to the family business and the family is going to be one of the most significant challenges to addressing inequality,” says David Krumholz, professor of economics at the University of Oxford.
His report, “The Hidden Wealth of the Future,” finds that only 16 percent of wealth in the United States is held by the top 0.1 percent of the population, and that this share is declining.
In fact, the percentage of wealth held by those at the top has risen by 17 percent over the last five decades.
The report also found that family wealth is growing at a faster rate than the GDP of developing countries.
The study found that only 20 percent of families own more than $2.5 million in wealth, compared with 65 percent of developing nations.
Krumsel says that this wealth is largely held by middle and upper-income families in the U.S., while the wealth of those at lower incomes is largely concentrated in the bottom 20 percent.
The bottom half of U..
S. households own less than $50,000 of wealth.
And even the richest households in the country are struggling to access that wealth.
The U.K., which ranks No. 1 in the world for wealth per person, has only 2.6 percent of its people living in households that have at least $1 million in assets.
The OECD found that, as of 2015, only 25 percent of U,S.
families owned assets worth more than the national median income.
The average American household owns only $8,000 in wealth.
Kumsel says the problem of inequality is far from solved.
“We are living in a society that is still more unequal than any time in history,” he says.
“It is going through a crisis of confidence.”
Krumholm’s report notes that a number of factors have contributed to the decline of wealth inequality.
One is the fact that family size has increased dramatically over the past several decades.
“As a result, there has been a lot of turnover among families,” he explains.
“So there are a lot more kids who are getting married, having kids, moving in together, having more kids, and so on.”
He says the rise in family size also played a role in the sharp decline in the percentage share of income going to the top 10 percent.
KUMLHOLZ: “The average family is just slightly more wealthy today than it was 25 years ago, and we are still a long way away from where we need to be.”
The report notes the rising inequality in the middle class as well.
The top 1 percent now own more wealth than the bottom 99 percent.
And as the wealth gap has widened, the gap between rich and poor has widened.
The richest Americans, in fact, have captured about half of all income gains over the 20th century.
The income of the top 1% in the 1970s was more than four times that of the bottom 40 percent.
But the gap has narrowed dramatically over time.
In 2000, the bottom 1 percent of Americans received less than one-tenth of 1 percent as much as the top 99 percent received in the same period.
The share of wealth belonging to the bottom 90 percent fell from 29 percent to 18 percent between 2000 and 2015.
And by 2025, it will be about 20 percent, according to the study.
The decline in wealth inequality has also affected the health of the economy.
As income inequality has grown, wages have stagnated or fallen, which has resulted in a higher cost of living.
The authors note that as income inequality increased, people began to work fewer hours and less hours were earned.
And this has impacted health care, education, and the economy in the long run.
KRAMEL: “We need to get the economy to a place where people can have decent incomes and still enjoy decent health.”
The researchers conclude that there are many factors contributing to the drop in wealth of the middle and lower classes.
Kromholz points to globalization as one of these factors.
In the last few decades, globalization has opened up many opportunities for American companies to bring jobs overseas and reduce their taxes.
But as more people are exposed to these foreign markets, the value of their local jobs and wages is being eroded.
“This is happening across the world,” he tells National Geographic.
“You see the value being eroded in other countries and you see that erosion in the American economy.
We need to make sure that we’re paying our fair share to our international competitors.”
KRAML: “A lot of this [globalization] is being driven by people’s ability to move abroad.
There’s a huge disconnect there, and it’s very difficult to get people back to their home country.”
And this is particularly true in Europe.
“Europe is still in the grip of austerity measures and low wages,” says Krom