Light Wave


Gender wealth gap: Men own $105 trillion more than women, says Oxfam

By Jake Beardslee · January 15, 2024

In brief…

  • According to an Oxfam report, the world's richest have more than doubled their wealth since 2020 while the world's poorest 60% have lost wealth.
  • The gap between rich and poor globally continues to grow rapidly.
  • Men own significantly more wealth than women worldwide.
  • Oxfam links inequality to corporations and individuals focused on profits over people.
The new Oxfam report shows how the superrich are exponentially accumulating wealth as the world's poorest lose ground.  Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA/Wikimedia

The ultrarich are getting exponentially richer while the world’s poorest suffer, according to a new Oxfam report. At the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam released findings that the wealth of the world’s five richest men - Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg - has more than doubled since 2020, increasing by $464 billion or 114%. In contrast, the poorest 60% of the global population has lost wealth in real terms.

This widening gap means billionaires were $3.3 trillion richer in 2023 than in 2020, with their wealth growing three times faster than inflation. Oxfam estimates this concentration of riches could produce the world’s first trillionaire within a decade. Meanwhile, it will take over 200 years to eradicate global poverty at current rates.

Oxfam links this inequality to the concentration of power among wealthy corporations and individuals focused on profits over people. Seven of the 10 largest corporations have a billionaire CEO or principal shareholder. The richest 1% emit twice as much carbon pollution as the poorest two-thirds of humanity.

The inequality also has a gender dimension. Men own $105 trillion more wealth than women globally. Oxfam estimates it would take 1,200 years for a female health worker to earn what a Fortune 100 CEO makes in one year.