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Wealth inequality UPSC NOTE

 World Inequality Lab Report

  • A new report by World Inequality Lab titled "Income and Wealth Inequality in India, 1922-2023" highlights a significant rise in both income and wealth inequality in India.


Income Inequality

  • The top 1% of earners in India now hold the highest share of national income (22.6%) in the last 100 years.

  • The top 0.1% of the population corner nearly 10% of the national income.

  • This share of the top 1% is among the highest in the world.

Wealth Inequality

  • The share of the top 1% in wealth is also at its peak since 1961 (40.1%).

  • The share of wealth among the top 10% has significantly increased from 45% in 1961 to 65% in 2022-23.

  • Conversely, the bottom 50% and middle 40% of the population hold a declining share of wealth.

Comparison with Other Countries

  • While India's wealth inequality isn't as extreme as Brazil and South Africa, it has grown rapidly since the 1980s.

  • India's income inequality is worse than these countries and even the US.

Impact on Growth and Development

  • The report argues that this rising inequality hinders economic growth and poverty reduction.

  • It compares India with China and Vietnam, where growth was more inclusive due to lower inequality.


Historical Trends

  • Inequality in India declined between 1960 and 1980 but worsened with economic reforms in the 1990s.

Human Development and State-wise Disparity

  • The report finds a correlation between high human development and sustained economic growth in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

  • States with lower human development rankings (like Bihar) have experienced slower economic growth.

  • India's overall Human Development Index ranking is lower than its economic ranking, indicating economic growth hasn't translated into better human development.

Policy Recommendations

  • The report emphasizes prioritizing human development (education, healthcare) for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

  • It criticizes free foodgrain schemes, arguing that handouts alone can't address deep inequality.

  • The report warns of potential social unrest if inequality remains unaddressed.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Wealth inequality UPSC NOTE
Wealth inequality UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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