June 15, 2004 – Highlighting the increasing concentration of wealth in the US, the CapGemini/Merrill Lynch World Wealth report found that there were 2.27 million individuals worth $1 million or more in 2003, up 14 percent from the year before. The annual CapGemini/Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report also found that the wealthiest 1 percent of the U.S. controls one-third of the nation's wealth. Over the same period of time the ranks of people living under the official poverty line also grew - widening the wealth gap to a level not seen in any other industrialized nation. In 2002, the latest period for which data is available, 34.6 million people lived under the poverty line, an increase of 1.7 million from 2001. Labor and housing advocates, as well as many economists, argue that the official poverty level (roughly $18,000 for a family of four) severely undercounts the number of poor in the U.S. because the cost of living varies throughout the country.