MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER Bill Gates and Oracle's Larry Ellison, along with 83 others on the Oxfam rich list, have accumlated as much wealth as 3.5billion of the world's poorest.
Listed as the second richest man in the world, Bill Gates is one of the globe's 1,426 billionaires which have a combined wealth of £3.3tn, a new Oxfam study reveals. The top 85 on that rich list, including Oracle's Larry Ellison is in fifth place with a net worth of £26.3bn, have a combined wealth of £1tn, equal to the net worth of half of the world's population.
Comparing the Oxfam study to Bloomberg's rich list estimates announced last year, Gates has slipped from top position into second place, having been overtaken by the Mexican telecoms mogul Carlos Slim.
Before he climbed back to the top in 2013, Gates had held the world's richest person title for over a decade until Slim overtook him in 2007.
Gates' net worth shot up an impressive 16 percent in 2013, while Slim's holdings in his America Movil company fell by 14 percent, wiping $3bn off his worth. Despite Gates being identified with Microsoft, most of his wealth is now in other investments, with the software house making up only 25 percent of his total investments.
Oxfam's Annual Income of the Richest 100 study also found that the top one percent of the world's richest families are worth £67.3tn, amounting to 46 percent of the world's total wealth.
Executive director of Oxfam International Jeremy Hobbs said, "Concentration of resources in the hands of the top one per cent depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else - particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
"In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what's left."
The charity also said that the richest one per cent have increased their income by 60 per cent in the last 20 years, with the financial crisis having accelerated rather than slowed the process. The rich in the UK are also rising, with an estimated 345,271 net millionaire households. µ