Taxing Extreme Wealth – An annual tax on the world’s multi-millionaires and billionaires: What it would raise and what it could pay for


Using data from Forbes and Wealth-X covering 66 countries, this report estimates the revenue that can be raised by taxing the wealth of millionaires and billionaires across the globe. It was published on January 19, 2022, by Oxfam International; Patriotic Millionaires, Washington D.C.; the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington D.C.; and Fight Inequality Alliance.

The report states that a wealth tax of two per cent on all millionaires, three per cent on those with wealth exceeding 50 million and five per cent on all billionaires could raise an annual revenue of 2.53 trillion US dollars. The resultant amount could get roughly 2.3 billion people out of poverty, fund Covid-19 vaccines for the entire world and finance universal health care and social protection measures for 3.6 billion people living in low- and lower middle-income countries.

This 52-page document presents the global overview of the situation, followed by a series of factsheets for 44 countries from across the globe. Additionally, it also presents four regional fact sheets covering Africa, Asia (excluding countries in the ‘Middle East’), Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Each factsheet is divided into four sections: The Super-rich and the Pandemic (Section 1); The Rich Compared to Everyone Else (Section 2); Annual Wealth Tax (Section 3); and Health Not Wealth: Impact of Revenue on Health Spending (Section 4).


  1. As per the report, there are around 3.6 million individuals worldwide who possess five million dollars or more in terms of wealth. Their combined wealth amounts to 75.3 trillion dollars. Among them, individuals with 50 million dollars or more numbered 183,000 and accounted for 36.4 trillion dollars in wealth.

  2. As of November 30, 2021, the number of billionaires in the world was 2,660, the report states. They owned wealth amounting to 13.76 trillion dollars.

  3. People with five million dollars or more accounted for only 0.05 per cent of the total global population but held 13.07 per cent of global wealth, notes the World Inequality Report 2022. Individuals owning 50 million dollars or more constitute just 0.002 per cent of global population but own 6.33 per cent of the global wealth.

  4. Indian billionaires more than doubled their wealth during the Covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, 46 million people in the country newly faced extreme poverty in 2020. The report adds that 98 of the richest billionaires in the country possess as much wealth as the poorest 40 per cent of Indians.

  5. Individuals with wealth amounting to five million dollars or more numbered 66,860 in India and had a cumulative net worth of 1.685 trillion dollars.

  6. The number of Indians with wealth over 50 million dollars each increased from 2,420 to 4,060 between 2016 and 2021. Their combined wealth – adjusted for inflation – increased by 58 per cent from 601 to 949.5 billion dollars.

  7. Introducing a wealth tax in India (at the rate of two, three and five per cent on wealth over five million, 50 million and one billion respectively) would raise a revenue of around 78.3 billion dollars annually. Steeper rates of two, five and ten per cent on wealth over five million, 50 million and one billion, could raise as much as 122 billion dollars a year.

  8. In India, the added revenue of 78.3 billion dollars through wealth tax could raise the government’s health budget by 271 per cent, the report states.

  9. The total billionaires in Asia numbered 1,020, the report states. Their combined wealth amounted to 4.352 trillion dollars.

  10. The combined wealth of billionaires in Asia is higher than the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of five Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand.

    Focus and Factoids by Bhavani Vaidyanathan.


Fight Inequality Alliance, Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam International and Patriotic Millionaires


Fight Inequality Alliance, Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam International and Patriotic Millionaires


19 Jan, 2022