India amongst the most unequal countries in the world

Tags: International News

As per the 'World Inequality Report 2022' by World Inequality Lab, which aims to promote research on global inequality dynamics., India is among the most unequal countries in the world, with rising poverty and an 'affluent elite'.

Highlights of the report:

  • Distribution of Wealth:
    • The average national income of the Indian adult population is Rs 2,04,200. Here, the bottom 50% earns Rs 53,610 while the top 10% earns Rs 11,66,520, over 20 times more. In India, the top 10% and top 1% hold 57% and 22% of the total national income respectively while the share of the bottom 50% has gone down to 13%.
    • The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are the most unequal regions in the world, whereas Europe has the lowest inequality levels.
  • Gender inequality:
    • in India is also considerably on the higher end of the spectrum. The share of female labour income share in India is equal to 18% which is significantly lower than the average in Asia (21%, excluding China) & is among the lowest in the world. Although, the number is slightly higher than the average share in the Middle East (15%).
    • Women’s share of total incomes from work (labour income) was about 30% in 1990 and is less than 35% now
  • Wealthy Countries Poor Governments:
    • Countries across the world have become richer over the past 40 years, but their governments have become significantly poorer.
  • Impact of COVID crisis:
    • The Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed hit all world regions, but it hit them with varying intensity.
    • Europe, Latin America, and South and Southeast Asia recorded the largest drops in national income in 2020 (between -6% and -7.6%) while East Asia (where the pandemic began) succeeded in stabilizing its 2020 income at the level of 2019.

World Inequality Lab

  • It is a research laboratory focusing on the study of inequality worldwide. The WIL hosts the World Inequality Database, the most extensive public database on global inequality dynamics.
  • It gathers social scientists committed to helping everyone understand the drivers of inequality worldwide through evidence-based research.
  • Missions:
    • The extension of the World Inequality Database.
    • The publication of working papers, reports and methodological handbooks.
    • The dissemination in academic circles and public debates.

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