SOURCE: United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Human Development Report, 1999 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 3.

Further global wealth factoids:

• Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, with 19 per cent of the global population, represent 71 per cent of global trade in goods and services, 58 per cent of foreign direct investment, and 91 per cent of all Internet users.

• The world's richest 200 people more than doubled their net worth in the four years 1994 to 1998, to more than US $1 trillion. The assets of the top three billionaires are more than the combined GNP of all the least developed countries in the world and their 600 million people.

• The recent wave of mergers and acquisitions is concentrating industrial power in megacorporations - at the risk of eroding competition. By 1998 the top ten companies in pesticides controlled 85 per cent of a US $31 billion global market; the top ten in telecommunications, 86 per cent of a US $262 billion market.

• In 1993 just ten companies accounted for 84 per cent of global research and development expenditures and controlled 95 per cent of all US patents of the past two decades. Moreover, more than 80 per cent of the patents granted in developing countries went to residents of industrial countries. SOURCE: UNDP, as above.

Table 26: Gross National Product per capita in the species-rich states




1988 (US$)


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