Report on the world social situation 2013

Inequality Matters

image of Report on the world social situation 2013
The 2013 report examines key drivers of inequality that have emerged in the recent past and the impact of rising inequality. It examines trends in social, economic and spatial inequalities and assesses why inequality matters in order to propose policy solutions to this persistent problem, paying particular attention to the potential role of empowerment and participation. The report highlights inequalities within and across countries and shows the cumulative, mutually-reinforcing effects these inequalities have on the systematic lack of participation and disadvantage of some social groups and on the intergenerational transmission of poverty. It discusses the role of economic and political institutions in promoting participation and empowerment.



Inequality in key aspects of well-being

The present chapter analyses disparities across and within countries in several dimensions of well-being, namely, life expectancy at birth, child survival, nutrition and educational attainment. Although inequality in health and educational outcomes across countries remains large, the past two decades have seen a shift towards convergence, as poorer countries have continued to make notable progress in improving their levels of human development. However, this good news is tempered by the persistence of large inequalities in health and education within and across both social groups and regions within countries. Spatial disparities may not have increased in all countries but they have remained high, as have inequalities in education and health. However, as with economic inequalities, trends are far from universal.


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