Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising

OECD | A Report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

New Report Shows Inequality Rates Rise – Even as Countries Experience Sustained Economic & Employment Growth

A report by OECD shows that In the three decades prior to the recent economic downturn, wage gaps widened and household income inequality increased in a large majority of OECD countries. This occurred even when countries were going through a period of sustained economic and employment growth.

“Over the two decades prior to the onset of the global economic crisis, real disposable household incomes increased by an average 1.7% a year in OECD countries. In a large majority of them, however, the household incomes of the richest 10% grew faster than those of the poorest 10%, so widening income inequality.

Differences in the pace of income growth across household groups were particularly pronounced in some of the English-speaking countries, some Nordic countries, and Israel.1 In Japan, the real incomes of those at the bottom of the income ladder actually fell compared with the mid-1980s.

In OECD countries today, the average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10% – a ratio of 9 to 1. However, the ratio varies widely from one country to another. It is much lower than the OECD average in the Nordic and many continental European countries, but reaches 10 to 1 in Italy, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom; around 14 to 1 in Israel, Turkey, and the United States; and 27 to 1 in Mexico and Chile.”

Read more from the OECD Report, “Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising”


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