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What we are doing

Extreme economic inequality within countries is increasing around the world. It destabilises economies, damages societies and traps people in poverty. Read more about what we are doing to overcome inequality.

Even It Up

In Even it Up: Time to end extreme inequality, Oxfam presents evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication.

Wealth: Having it all and wanting more

Wealth: Having it all and wanting more
12 pages

Hardoon, Deborah

Publication date
19 Jan 2015



Oxfam International

Issue briefing

Global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite. These wealthy individuals have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and insurance, and pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further. The most prolific lobbying activities in the US are on budget and tax issues; public resources that should be directed to benefit the whole population, rather than reflect the interests of powerful lobbyists.

This briefing explains Oxfam’s methodology and data sources and updates key inequality statistics, such as Oxfam’s frequently cited fact in 2014: ‘85 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population’.