The Future of Worldwide Income Distribution

Paolo Mauro (PIIE) and Tomas Hellebrandt (PIIE)
May 5, 2015

The debate about income distribution has focused on the trend of rising inequality in the United States and other advanced economies. Worldwide, however, income distribution is becoming more equal. This video presents new evidence derived from surveys of households worldwide, which projects equality to improve further in the next 20 years. The main factor in that trend is strong growth raising hundreds of millions of people from poverty to the middle class or to affluence in China, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, and other parts of the developing world. The reduction in global inequality will reshape the size and location of global consumption of goods and services. Unprecedented opportunities for businesses and investors lie ahead. But there will also be challenges posed by rising pressures on infrastructure, natural resources, the environment, and the global climate.

This video is part of an effort by the Peterson Institute for International Economics to use different means for dissemination of economic data and analysis to the broad public on important issues and challenges.

Data sources and methodology are provided in PIIE Working Paper 15-7.
Charts: Jan Zilinsky
Animation and Sound: Daniel Housch and Jeremey Tripp