The United States exhibits wider disparities of wealth between rich and poor than any other major developed nation.
Wealth is equated with “net worth,” the sum total of your assets minusliabilities. Assets can include everything from an owned personal residence and cash in savings accounts to investments in stocks and bonds, real estate, and retirement accounts. Liabilities cover what a household owes: a car loan, credit card balance, student loan, mortgage, or any other bill yet to be paid. In the United States, wealth inequality runs even more pronounced than income inequality.
The most visible indicator of wealth inequality in America today may be the Forbes magazine list of the nation’s 400 richest.The three men at the top of that list — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and investor Warren Buffett — held combined fortunes worth more than the total wealth of the poorest half of Americans.
According to Institute for Policy Studies analysis of Forbes data, the combined wealth of all U.S. billionaires increased by $2.071 trillion (70.3 percent), from approximately $2.947 trillion to $5.019 trillion. Of the more than 700 U.S. billionaires, the richest five (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Elon Musk) saw an 123 percent increase in their combined wealth during this period, from $349 billion to $779 billion.