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Lifestyle and Travel

How much the top 1% of world’s richest earn in different countries


The income required to be in the “top 1%” varies greatly depending on what country you live in. To join the “richest top 1% club” in the United States requires more than $488,000, 6 times more income than in India ($77,000). An emerging market so populous that the top 1% includes more than 13 million people.

You might need the combined incomes of 12 richest one-percenters in India, a developing market, to equal 1 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

In much of the developed world, an annual pretax income of $200,000 to $300,000 gets you into the richest top 1% club. Interestingly, Inequality is widening even within the ranks of the top 1%.

To be among the top 1 percent in America, you needed a minimum annual pretax income of $488,000 per year before taxes. While it takes about $488,000 per year to enter the “top 1% club” in the United States, reaching the “top 0.1%” now requires an annual pretax income of more than $2 million. And the threshold for 0.01% is more than $10 million.

From China to the United States, a breakdown of the wealthiest of the wealthy. Here’s the full breakdown of the annual pre-tax income you need to be among the top 1%of earners in various countries.

The one-percenters: annual pretax income threshold to be in the top 1 percent of earners

RankCountryAnnual pretax income (one-percenters)
1United Arab Emirates$922,000
3United States$488,000
6United Kingdom$248,000
10South Africa$188,000

Note: All figures are given in 2018 U.S. dollars adjusted for purchasing power parity.

To illustrate the inequality problem, here are some facts: The richest 1% own 45% of global wealth. The richest 0.003% own 11.3% of global wealth.

The world’s top 10 billionaires

RankBillionaireNet worthComparable GDP values of countries (in US$)
1Jeff Bezos$126 billionMorocco ($119 billion)
2Bill Gates$118 billionEcuador ($1.7 billion)
3Bernard Arnault$101 billionKenya ($98 billion)
4Warren Buffett$90.4 billionEthiopia ($90 billion)
5Mark Zuckerberg$80.4 billionGuatemala ($78 billion)
6Amancio Ortega$75.2 billionVenezuela ($72 billion)
7Larry Page$70.4 billionLuxembourg ($70 billion)
8Sergey Brin$68.2 billionPanama ($68 billion)
9Steve Ballmer$66.7 billionMyanmar ($66 billion)
10Carlos Slim$61.9 billionCosta Rica ($61 billion)

The aggregate wealth of the world’s top 10 billionaires is approximately $858 billion, exceeding the GDP of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Switzerland.
In other words, the wealth of the richest 0.00000016‬% of the world’s population (7,762,807,450) accounts for 4% percent of America’s GDP of about 21.4 trillion.

The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, saw his fortune increase to $126 billion. Just 1% of his fortune is equivalent to the whole health budget for Morocco, a country of 35 million people.

If he were to liquidate all of his assets, Bezos could purchase all of the final goods and services supplied by Morocco in a single year.

Following the same logic, the world’s top 10 billionaires could chip in their combined assets in exchange for the annual production of all goods and services in Turkey ($743.708 billion.

CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Lifestyle and Travel - How much the top 1% of world’s richest earn in different countries
Anna Papadopoulos
Anna Papadopoulos is a senior money, wealth, and asset management reporter at CEOWORLD magazine, covering consumer issues, investing and financial communities + author of the CEOWORLD magazine newsletter, writing about money with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. You can follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn for musings on money, wealth, asset management, millionaires, and billionaires. Email her at