Great gaps between the rich and the poor
In principle, the international community tends to place value on equality within countries. However, the rich-poor divide is still considerable and has even been widening since the 1980s. One way of quantifying it is to divide total revenues of the richest 10% by that of the poorest 10% in a given population. The higher the ratio, the greater the inequality in that society. Late in the first decade of the new millennium, World Bank figures report inequality measures ranging from 4.5 to 168.
The country with the lowest inequality measure is reportedly Japan, with a ratio of 4.5, followed by northern European countries, owing to social policies in place in those nations. Several countries in Asia and the former Soviet Union also report low ratios of 5 to 9, doubtless due to entrenched collectivist practices springing from an albeit fading communist past. Other western countries report ratios anywhere from 9 (France, Canada) to 16 (USA). The worst reports, of ratios scaling 30 to 70 and even exceeding 100 in some cases, come from Sub-Saharan Africa and especially Latin America. The latter could be explained as an echo of a colonial past which favoured the appearance of a huge divide between the wealthiest and the poorest.
It should be noted that since this ratio is readily discernible and yet also delicate to calculate, there are 50 countries where no inequality measures are available. This gives a partial (in both senses of the word) idea of the situation, given the countries in question: most of the Persian Gulf States, African oil-producers (Angola, Gabon, Chad), and some tax havens and financial hubs such as the Bahamas, Luxembourg and Malta.
Did you enjoy this piece of news ?Subscribe to our daily newsletter Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
- Organic and fair capitalism - it is possible
- To buy or not to buy ?
- Degrowth : against sustainable development
- Sustainable development
- Socially Responsible Investment
- Leave only footprints, take only memories