1 Inequalities & Income: Global

1.1        Statistics

  • 836 million people live in extreme poverty5
  • About one in five persons in developing regions lives on US$1.90 (S$2.60) a day6
  • The majority of these people belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa7
  • Every day, 42,000 people had to abandon their homes to seek protection due to conflict (2014)8
  • The richest 85 people in the world own as much as the poorest half of humanity9
  • The richest 10% earns up to 40% of total global income. The poorest 10% earn only between 2-7% of total global income.10
  • In developing countries, inequality has increased by 11% if the growth of population is accounted for.11

1.2        The Challenge

Inequality is one of the biggest barriers to ending poverty; it fuels crime, corruption and violent conflict.

“Economic inequality is directly tied to childhood mortality rate: the poorer a child is, the more likely she is to die from a preventable health condition. According to the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals Report, in developing regions, the under-five mortality rate is two times higher for children from the poorest families than it is for those born into the richest families.”12

The ability to find secure and fairly paid work is a big priority for most people, no matter where they live in the world. Employment enables families to escape poverty and helps governments develop and extend public services like health and education through taxes generated. However, millions of people are unemployed, or forced to undertake jobs with low wages or bad working conditions. The International Labour Organization reports that more than 204 million people were unemployed in 201513.

1.3        The Opportunity

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to encourage sustained economic growth by achieving higher levels of productivity and through technological innovation. Promoting policies that encourage entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030.


5Goal 1: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/poverty/




9Reduced Inequalities. (n.d.). Retrieved from ONE: https://www.one.org/international/globalgoals/reduced-inequalities

10Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. (n.d.). Retrieved from United Nations Development Programme: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sdgoverview/post-2015-development-agenda/goal-10.html


12Children. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Life You Can Save: http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/Causes/Children

13Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. (n.d.). Retrieved from United Nations Development Programme: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sdgoverview/post-2015-development-agenda/goal-8.html


To Create the World We Want where no one is left behind, we need to ensure that overseas aid reaches the poorest people and the poorest countries. We need to ensure that governments adopt policies that promote equal opportunities for all.

1.4        Resources

1.1        Past Projects

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