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Economic Growth

When world leaders stood together in 2000 to make the Millennium Declaration, they made a fundamental commitment to promoting a more equal and just world. So what progress has been made towards the complex issue of reducing inequality? Sustainble Development Goal No. 10 sets forth to reduce “inequality within and among countries.”

The Millennium Development Goals which emerged from this certainly made good progress in some areas. There’s been a reduction in extreme poverty by half, which means 700 million fewer people living on less than $1.25 per day, and gains in gender equality — more girls enrolled in education in developing countries and greater political participation of women.

But data shows that income inequality is on the rise, in developed and developing countries alike. According to the OECD, income inequality is at its highest level for the past half century. The average income of the richest 10 percent of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10 percent across the OECD, up from seven times 25 years ago.