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Global economic inequality: what matters most for your living conditions is not who you are, but where you are

The large economic inequality is only one dimension of global inequality. There are many other aspects that people care about. But because a high

The large economic inequality is only one dimension of global inequality. There are many other aspects that people care about. 

But because a high income is so important for good living conditions these other inequalities map onto the economic inequality. Those who live on higher incomes have advantages in many ways.

The chart shows what life is like on different income levels in 12 different dimensions.

On the horizontal axis in each panel you see GDP per capita, measuring the average income in a country. Starting from the top left these panels show that where incomes are higher people live longer, children die less often, mothers die less often, doctors can focus on fewer patients, people have better access to clean drinking water and electricity, they can travel more, have more free time, have better access to education and better learning outcomes, and people are more satisfied with their lives.

The inequality of people’s living conditions mirrors the world’s economic inequality. 

It is hard to overstate how very large these differences are. Life expectancy in the poorest countries is 30 years shorter than in the richest countries. I have also just written about the very large global inequalities in learning outcomes along the economic dimension.