10% double wealth while Covid makes poorer worse off – new Oxfam report

Posted on 10 February 2022

This year’s Oxfam report, Inequality Kills, opens with the rise in wealth of the richest people over the pandemic, contrasting it with the fall in income for most of the world.
Then – in a new angle this year – it highlights the deadly effects of what it calls “economic violence”, setting out how hunger, lack of healthcare, gender-based violence and climate change contribute to the death of at least one person every four seconds.
It recommends amongst other measures, taxing gains made by the super-rich to invest in inequality-busting measures  Read the full report; watch four short videos here; and check out Duncan Green’s analysis of what helped the report make such an impact.

Six headline facts from the report:

  • The wealth of the 10 richest has doubled, while the incomes of 99% of humanity are worse off, because of COVID
  • Inequality contributes to the death of at least one person every four seconds.
  • 252 men have more wealth than all 1 billion women and girls in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, combined.
  • Since 1995, the top 1% have captured nearly 20 times more of global wealth than the bottom 50% of humanity.
  • 3.4 million Black Americans would be alive today if their life expectancy was the same as White people’s. Before COVID-19, that alarming number was already 2.1 million.
  • Twenty of the richest billionaires are estimated, on average, to be emitting as much as 8000 times more carbon than the billion poorest people.