How much the richest 1% of South Africans earn

New data published by The Washington Post shows how much a South African would have to earn, after tax, to be a part of the richest 1% in the country.

The data comes from economist Branko Milanovic, based on numbers from the Luxembourg Income Study which covers income data from 48 countries, including South Africa, between 1980 and 2013.

The South African income numbers processed by the LIS includes data from 2010 and 2012.

Milanovic’s numbers purport to show how much, on average, a country’s richest 1% earns after taxes, and adjusted for the cost of living.

To be classified a “top 1% earner”, you would have to clear $46,484 – or R570,000 – a year, after tax, the data shows.

Read: How rich are you really?

South Africa taxes its highest earners at 41% of their income, which means that the country’s richest 530,000 people gross close to R1.2 million per annum, on average.

One notable caveat to the data is that it excludes capital gains, and disregards selling stocks, bonds or real estate or any other source of income the wealthiest individuals may tap into.

Top earners
Top earners

Global wealth

Wealth in the context of purchasing power within a country is vastly different when placed in a global context.

BusinessTech previously reported on what levels you would need to earn to be considered part of the richest 1% in the world – R175,000 a year.

South African economist, Mike Schussler previously said that someone making R8,500 per month (R102,000 p.a.) would likely be in the top 5% of the world’s wealthiest.

Looking at net worth (total assets, minus debt), Credit Suisse estimates that 63,000 South Africans are part of the top 1% of global wealth holders – and 47,000 of these individuals are dollar millionaires.

Approximately 68.2% of the population has a net worth under $10,000, while 3% of the adult population are worth more than $100,000, the group reported.

To be considered one of the world’s richest 1%, you would need a net worth of R9.2 million, according to Credit Suisse’s data.

% of Global population Minimum Net Worth USD Minimum Net Worth ZAR
90% $137 R1 587
80% $494 R5 722
70% $1 086 R12 580
60% $2 129 R24 662
50% $3 641 R42 178
40% $5 824 R67 466
30% $10 103 R117 035
20% $20 909 R242 214
10% $77 450 R897 196
5% $209 586 R2 427 886
1% $798 285 R9 247 493

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How much the richest 1% of South Africans earn