The richest 10 per cent of the world’s richest have received the richest 10pc share in all of Australia’s mining companies, according to a new report.
In a country where the richest one per cent have almost twice as much wealth as the poorest half, the research by the Australian Financial Survey found that the richest ten per cent made up 77 per cent, or $6.8 trillion, of Australia $10 trillion in 2012, according a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
The wealthiest 10 per in Australia are worth $2.2 trillion, or nearly one-fifth of the entire economy.
The report was released on Tuesday, when the government released its first national wealth report in seven years.
Its main finding is that Australia’s wealthiest 10pc had a net worth of $9.9 trillion, a figure which would be the fourth largest of all nations in terms of global wealth.
It also found that Australians who owned stock, mutual funds and other investments were the second-most highly-gifted group of people in the world, followed by Australians who held real estate, who owned more than 10 per part of a house, and who owned stocks and bonds.
Australia’s top 10 per is the richest in the Americas, the world in which Brazil is based, according the report.
In Europe, the richest tenth of the population, the Netherlands, ranked first, and France and Germany came second, followed in the US, Germany, Italy and Japan.
In Asia, the 10 per are the richest fifth of the people in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore.
On the other hand, the report said Australia’s poorest tenth of people, aged under 65, had net worths of just $1.3 trillion.
If the 10pc of people who had less than $100,000 in wealth were included, the poorest fifth of people had an annual income of $2,000.
There was a similar story across Europe, Australia and Japan, according.
According to the IFS, in 2012 the richest two-fifths of the country’s households had an income of just over $10,000, while the poorest 10 per had an average annual income less than one-third of that amount.
However, in Australia’s wealthier regions, the rich were not as well off as the poor.
And, according by the IFs findings, Australia’s share of total wealth held by the richest households was the smallest in the OECD.
While the wealthiest 10 were only second to Japan in terms the world as a whole, Australia had the lowest share in the Asia-Pacific region.
By contrast, in the United States, the United Kingdom and France, the top 10 were among the richest nations, according according to the report, which was commissioned by the National Mining Association.
Although Australia has long been seen as a “one-percent” economy, the IF said the “real picture” showed a much higher level of wealth held in the richest parts of society.
A report published last year by the International Monetary Fund found that while the richest 5 per cent had more wealth than the poorest 40 per cent combined, the ratio of the richest to the poorest 20 per cent was almost four to one.
“The ratio of wealth to income in Australia has never been higher,” said the report by the IMF.
At the same time, Australia was one of the most unequal countries in the G20, with the richest 40 per are richer than the bottom 80 per cent.
Since the G10’s summit in Brisbane last year, the International Finance Corporation has forecast that Australia will reach a net wealth gap of $3 trillion by 2030.
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has said that he is concerned about the future of the nation, with a wealth gap that is the second highest in the rich world behind Germany.
He has said the country will be a “giant if” its economy can grow, but has also pointed to other ways to help address the problem, such as a national debt reduction deal, as well as tax cuts.
Labor has also raised concerns about the wealth gap.
One of the biggest questions in Australian politics is whether or not Australia’s top one percents will be able to pay for the cost of the national debt.
But a report by economist and professor of economics at the University of Queensland David Cobb has argued that the question of whether the wealthiest in Australia can pay for their own retirement, or the country is going to go broke is a moot point.
Cobb has estimated that the wealthiest one percent in Australia could be paying $5 trillion in taxes over the next 10 years, or close to 1 per cent per year.
More: “As a nation we need to make a decision,” said Mr Hockey in a statement.
Mr Hockey is also pushing for a reduction in the top marginal rate of income tax