The Worldwide 1%

MCF Intersection

A regular snapshot of the trends, news and research in the world of philanthropy — and its impact on business.


Since the financial crisis, income inequality has garnered increasing attention from economists, politicians, and journalists, and perhaps no income level has been cited more than the so-called 1 Percent. Yet that term can describe a wide variety of earners, depending on where they live. What They Make

Income standards vary wildly around the world. You might need the combined incomes of eleven 1 Percenters in India, a developing market, to equal one in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. The U.S. almost splits the difference.

What They Make

What They Owe

In most of the developed world, 1 Percenters don’t keep everything they make. A significant share of their income is earmarked for the government. In many countries, the highest income tax rate applies to only a portion of the 1 Percent.

What They Spend

The cost of luxuries and amenities is relative, too. What you pay for a Los Angeles mansion might get you merely a charming apartment in Monaco. On the other hand, child-care costs in those cities aren’t nearly as far apart.