File Image: IOL
File Image: IOL

This is what it takes to be in the 1% around the world

By Ben Steverman and Reade Pickert Time of article published Feb 7, 2019

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Since the financial crisis, income inequality has garnered increasing attention from economists, politicians, and journalists, and perhaps no income level has been cited more than the so-called 1 Percent. Yet that term can describe a wide variety of earners, depending on where they live. 

What They Make

Income standards vary wildly around the world. You might need the combined incomes of eleven 1 Percenters in India, a developing market, to equal one in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. The U.S. almost splits the difference.

What They Owe

In most of the developed world, 1 Percenters don’t keep everything they make. A significant share of their income is earmarked for the government. In many countries, the highest income tax rate applies to only a portion of the 1 Percent.

What They Spend

The cost of luxuries and amenities is relative, too. What you pay for a Los Angeles mansion might get you merely a charming apartment in Monaco. On the other hand, child-care costs in those cities aren’t nearly as far apart.


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