2019 Human Development Report on Inequality

The United Nations Development Programme released its 2019 Human Development Report on Inequality on December 9.

Titled, ‘Beyond Income, Beyond Averages, Beyond Today,’ the report identifies a new generation of inequalities that are increasingly determining people’s opportunities in the 21st century.

The demonstrations sweeping across the world today signal that, despite unprecedented progress against poverty, hunger and disease, many societies are not working as they should. The connecting thread, is inequality.

Just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing for millions of people, the necessities to thrive have evolved.

A new generation of inequalities is opening up, around education, and around technology and climate change -- two seismic shifts that, unchecked, could trigger a ‘new great divergence’ in society of the kind not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

In countries with very high human development, for example, subscriptions to fixed broadband are growing 15 times faster and the proportion of adults with tertiary education is growing more than six times faster than in countries with low human development.

The report analyzes inequality in three steps: beyond income, beyond averages, and beyond today and proposes a battery of policy options to tackle it.

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United Nations Development Programme