There Are 85 People Who Are As Wealthy As Half The WORLD, Oxfam Reports

01/21/2014 11:52 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Worldwide economic inequality is looking rather bleak these days, according to a new report by relief organization Oxfam.

Oxfam's "Working For The Few" report looked at Credit Suisse's "Global Wealth Report 2013" and Forbes' list of the world's billionaires from 2013 to conclude that 1 percent of the global population controls half of the world's wealth.

The report also found that the world's 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population.

The ramifications of such inequality may be dire, the report suggests:

This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems. Instead of moving forward together, people are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown.

Oxfam calls on leaders gathered at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to tackle the growing inequality through multiple pledges, such as insisting on a living wage for companies they control, and by supporting progressive taxation.

Last Thursday, the World Economic Forum stated in a risk assessment that income disparity was one of the "Ten Global Risks of Highest Concern in 2014."

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