Top 10% Hold 57% Of National Income
The World Inequality Report 2022 released by Paris-based World Inequality Lab, a global research initiative, pegs India to be among a poor and very unequal country, with an affluent elite, where the top 10% holds 57% of the total national income while the bottom 50 per cent's share is just 13% in 2021. The report also flagged a drop in global income during 2020, with about half of the dip in rich countries and the rest in low-income and emerging regions. This is attributed primarily due to the impact of "South and Southeast Asia and more precisely" India.
The inequality in India is even more stark when it came to wealth. While the average wealth of an Indian household is worth ₹9,83,010, the report said the bottom 50% of the country's population own "almost nothing", with an average wealth of ₹66,280. The middle class is relatively poor, owning 29.5% of the total wealth of the country. The wealthiest 1% population of India alone owns 33% of the country's total wealth.
The richest 10% of the global population currently takes 52% of global income, whereas the poorest half of the population earns 8% of it. These averages mask wide disparities both between and within countries. MENA (Middle East and North Africa) is the most unequal region in the world, Europe has the lowest inequality level.
The covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed hit all world regions, but it had them with varying intensity. Since the mid 1980s, deregulation and liberalization policies have led to one of the most extreme increases in income and wealth inequality in the world. In a way inequality in India has widened compared to British rule. The report said that India's female labour income share of 18% in 2021 was one of the lowest in the world. However, there has been an increase of more than 8 percentage points since 1980 in India's female labour income share. The report meant that despite economic catch up and strong growth in the emerging countries, the world remains particularly unequal today.
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