Davos 2016: Economists say Oxfam claim that 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world's population is "meaningless and misleading"

Lauren Fedor
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Oxfam said the people controlling half of the world's wealth could fit in one coach (Source: Getty)

Economists have slammed Oxfam for claiming 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population, saying the statistics are “meaningless and misleading”.

Oxfam, a global aid and development charity, issued a new report today, ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, claiming that the wealth of the poorest half ot he world’s population has fallen by $1 trillion (£700.5bn) since 2010, while the wealth of the richest 62 individuals has increased by more than $500bn to $1.76 trillion.

Read more: So what if 62 people are rich? Inequality is falling

Oxfam’s chief executive in Great Britain, Mark Goldring, said: “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.”

But Mark Littlewood, director general at the Institute of Economic Affairs, called the figures “bogus” and questioned how the charity crunched the numbers: “The methodology of adding up assets and subtracting debts and then making a global ‘net wealth’ distribution implies that many of the poorest in the world are those in advanced countries with high debts.”

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