A new report released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies looks into the fortunes of the Forbes 400 and compares their wealth to the much more meager assets of the rest of America.
Among their most significant findings:
- America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group including Warren Buffett, Charles and David Koch, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomberg and Sheldon Adelson — now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.
- The Forbes 400 now own about as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population — plus more than a third of the Latino population — combined.
- The median American family has a net worth of $81,000. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these typical American families.
Furthermore, the report authors note that they “believe that these statistics actually underestimate our current national levels of wealth concentration.” They say the “growing use of offshore tax havens and legal trusts has made the concealing of assets much more widespread than ever before.”