According to a report by the OECD, today in advanced economies the average income of the richest 10% of the population is now about nine times that of the poorest 10%. In some countries such as Israel and the United States – inequality has increased further. But even in traditionally egalitarian countries – such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden – the income gap between rich and poor is also expanding – from 5:1 in the 1980s to 6:1 today.
Only a few countries have been able to buck this trend: income inequality has recently fallen in Chile and Mexico, but the richest in these two countries still have incomes more than 25 times those of the poorest. This study dispels the assumption that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that greater inequality fosters greater social mobility. Without a comprehensive strategy for inclusive growth, inequality will continue to rise.