Incarceration & Execution
Rates of imprisonment vary widely around the world, and the use of
execution is rare in industrialized countries.
3 Social Inequalities
Bias against women is reflected in their unequal political and economic participation
and influence, their hours in unpaid work, and in the preference for sons over
Age distinctions can create inequalities by excluding age groups and undervaluing their
work. Population structures provide impetus for looking beyond national boundaries.
Class divisions separate the rich and powerful from those who have little opportunity to
gain wealth and influence.
Race & Ethnicity
Some minority ethnic and religious groups suffer systematic discrimination. Inequalities
associated with ethnicity are frequently intertwined with those of gender and poverty.
Millions of children are employed in paid or household work. Raising wages and
reducing poverty is the most effective way of reducing child labor.
4 Inequalities of Access
Poverty remains widespread, but recent studies suggest new avenues for action.
Hunger, is one of the most devastating dimensions of inequality. Children are
particularly at risk from its effects.
Poor people and those living in rural areas are least likely to have easy access to safe
Energy is a prerequisite for economic opportunities and human development that
remains inaccessible to many due to poverty, rural location, or lack of infrastructure.
Most people in developing countries have access only to biomass and solid fuels for
household use. These fuels pose serious health hazards.
The opportunity to travel easily and safely even for short distances is a key indicator of
both economic and gender inequality.
The digital divide between industrialized and non-industrialized countries constrains the
advance of healthcare, education, social freedoms, and livelihoods.
5 Health Inequalities
Societies with higher GDP tend to have higher life expectancy. Societies with greater
equality achieve longer life spans than more unequal societies.
The half a million women who die each year from complications related to pregnancy
are mainly from the poorest people in the least developed countries.
Children in developing countries become sick and often die of preventable or treatable
Access to Healthcare
Access to healthcare is worst in low-income countries, in rural areas and for the poor.
The rich benefit most from government health expenditure.
Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis have a devastating effect on the poorest and most
vulnerable people in developing countries.
6 Educational Inequalities
Poverty, poor quality education, and lack of educational opportunity for girls all
influence national literacy levels.
Barriers to Education
Poverty, gender, disability, language, location, and ethnicity constitute major barriers to
Early Childhood Care & Education
Children who are denied access to early childhood care and pre-school education suffer
a range of health and educational disadvantages.
7 Environmental Inequalities
Industrialized countries have historically been the largest carbon emitters, but
developing nations and the poor bear the brunt of the resultant climate disasters.
Rapid deforestation is having a negative environmental impact and threatening the
livelihoods of a quarter of the world’s population.
Air Pollution & Health
Air pollution, both indoors and outdoors, is a significant cause of death and disabling
Water & Health
A tenth of all disease could be alleviated by improvements in household water,
sanitation, and water-resource management. The poor are most likely to lack clean
water and sanitation services.
8 Towards Equality
9 Data, Definitions & Sources
Table 1: Income, Expenditure, & Earnings
Table 2: Access to Health & Services