According to World Bank Economist Branko Milanovic, one half of the world's richest people reside in the United States of America. In order to be considered a member of this top 1 percent a person must make $34,000 a year after taxes. While countries in Asia, including China and India have rapidly growing economies, they do not yet have a large middle class. In America, even with the economic downturn, the poorest five percent of Americans are wealthier than 66 percent of the rest of the world. This keeps them at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of wealth.
Aside from the United States, which has about 29 million of the world's richest people, another 4 million people in this category live in Germany. The remaining percent reside in parts of Europe, Asia and Brazil. From the statistics in Milanovic's book, The Haves and The Have Nots, a huge economic inequality can be seen between developing and industrialized countries. On a global perspective, it may be surprising to note that many people in the world's true middle class do not own homes or vehicles.
Read more at CNN .