Human Development Report 2019

Human Development Report 2019

Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today:
Inequalities in human development in the 21st century

Inequalities. The evidence is everywhere. Inequalities do not always reflect an unfair world, but when they have little to do with rewarding effort, talent or entrepreneurial risktaking, they can be an affront to human dignity. Under the shadow of sweeping technological change and the climate crisis, such inequalities in human development hurt societies, weakening social cohesion and people’s trust in government, institutions and each other. These inequalities in human development are a roadblock to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They are not just about disparities in income and wealth. They cannot be accounted for simply by using summary measures of inequality that focus on a single dimension. And they will shape the prospects of people that may live to see the 22nd century. The Report explores inequalities in human development by going beyond income, beyond averages and beyond today. It asks what forms of inequality matter and what drives them, recognizing that pernicious inequalities are generally better thought of as a symptom of broader problems in a society and economy. It also asks what policies can tackle those drivers—policies that can simultaneously help nations to grow their economies, improve human development and reduce inequality.

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