The richest 20 people now own more wealth than the entire bottom half of the U.S. population combined. Twenty individuals — a group small enough to fly together on one Gulfstream G650 private jet — have as much wealth as 152 million people living in 57 million American households.
This is just one stunning finding from a new report, Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us, by Chuck Collins and Josh Hoxie at the Institute for Policy Studies. The authors tap new data from the 2015 Forbes 400 and the Survey of Consumer Finances.
Just 400 billionaires now own as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population, plus a third of the Latino population combined.
The median American family has a net worth of $81,000. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these typical American families. If it helps to get the picture, ponder this: The 400 richest people in this country own as much wealth as all households in the United States with cats combined.