Saturday, August 10, 2013

Global inequality is changing

It is amazing how much the world has changed in twenty years. Somewhat for the better. The Economist recently ran a cover story about how the rapid economic growth of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) is slowing down. Embedded in the article is the graph below that takes a while to digest
[The] most populous countries [in the world] are no longer all that poor and its poor countries are no longer all that populous. Two decades of BRIC-led growth mean that there are far fewer people earning very little. In 1993 about half the world lived at below 5% of American GDP per person, according to an analysis of IMF figures by The Economist (see chart above). In 2012 the equivalent figure was 18% of American GDP per person.
The graph also predicts that 5 years from now 40% of the world's population will have an income greater than 25% of the US GDP per person.

To me this highlights both
- how incredibly inequitable global wealth was twenty years ago
- how much there has been a rapid expansion of "middle classes" in the BRICs in the last twenty years.

Noten, this does not mean that things are now just or that BRICs don't still have massive amounts of people living in extreme poverty.

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