Who Are Counted As
The Global Elite?
They look at the country's,
leader, the political executives, cabinet ministers,
executive staff, party leaders, assembly leaders, supreme
court justices, and members of parliaments.
They also include
unelected leaders such as,
religious leaders, military leaders, junta leaders, CEOs of
important companies, and NGO leaders.
Does the Typical Member of the Elite Look Like?
Male (81% of the total), married (91%), and on average 55 years
They speak roughly
two languages, with over one third speaking English. They are
normally university educated with almost half educated in the
Their most common
degrees were in Economics/Business/Management or Law. The
majority had white collar jobs or political backgrounds before
entering the leadership elite.
Typically, they earn
thirteen times more than national average.
Education of Political Elites
the Leader at the Top?
The top political leaders tended to be,
They tend to be
educated abroad, rather than domestically.
Also, they are likely
to have studied,
Economics/Business/Management (35%) more than any other
subject (next is law at 17%)...
They are as likely to
have political backgrounds as white collar backgrounds.
The variation of gender, marital status, and age was relatively
small across regions.
tended to be more balanced, and the Middle East and North
Africa (MENA) were least balanced.
The elite in the
Americas and MENA tended to speak the least amount of
But the elite in
MENA was most educated, while in Africa, they were the least
- the variation was small though.
The least white
collar leaders were in Africa, while the most white collar
leaders were in the Americas.
Finally, the earnings
of the elite in rich countries were only three times the
national average while in poor countries it was seventeen.
Africa stands out as
the region with the highest earning elites - leaders there earn
thirty-five times the national average.
After English, French, Spanish, and Arabic were the next most
commonly spoken languages.
More of the elite
have occupational backgrounds in the education sector rather
than media or military. The most common political experience of
the elite is to work within political parties.
Only 7% have no
This new database and study is an important step to
understanding the profile of
the global elite.
It highlights the
dominance of men of a certain age often with an economics
background. The real question is whether populist events of
recent years, which the database doesn't cover, have changed
this picture or not.
Time will tell...