India Now Among The Most Unequal Countries: World Inequality Report
India is now among the most unequal countries in the world, according to updated data used in the World Inequality Report. Inequality, which has been widening across a number of countries since the 1980s has worsened in the aftermath of the Covid crisis, said the report prepared by the World Inequality Lab, authored by Lucas Chancel and coordinated by Thomas Piketty among others.
Wealth Inequality Worsens
The Covid pandemic has exacerbated even more global inequalities, the report said. "Our data shows that the top 1% took 38% of all additional wealth accumulated since the mid-1990s, with an acceleration since 2020."
Updated data for India, in particular, shows that the top 1% of Indians now own 33% of the country's wealth compared to 31.7% previously.
The top 10% own 64.6% of the country's wealth, up from 63.9%.
The share of the bottom 50% now stands at 5.9%, down from 6% earlier.
The average household wealth in India stands at Rs 9,83,010. "The bottom 50% own almost nothing, with an average wealth of Rs 66,280," the report said.
Globally, the poorest half of the population owns just 2% of the total wealth. In contrast, the richest 10% of the global population own 76% of all wealth, the report said. On average, the poorest half of the population own $4,100 and the top 10% own $771,300 on average.
Income Inequality Persists
Income inequality in India also remains wide but hasn't worsened over the past year, the data shows.
The top 1% of Indians earn 21.7% of pre-tax national income.
The top 10% earn 57.1%.
The share of the bottom 50% in pre-tax national income is at 13.1%.
The average national income of the Indian adult population is estimated at Rs 2,04,200 in current rupee terms. The bottom 50% earns Rs 53,610, while the top 10% earns more than 20 times that at Rs 11,66,520, the report said.
Globally, the richest 10% of the global population currently takes 52% of global income, whereas the poorest half of the population earns 8.5% of it, the report said.
On average, an individual from the top 10% of the global income distribution earns $122,100 per year, whereas an individual from the poorest half of the global income distribution makes $3,920 per year.