Global inequality is increasing, according to a report written by Roberto Guimaraes and published by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2005. According to “The Inequality Predicament“, since 1960, income inequality has risen in 48 of 78 countries studied (and fallen in only 9), while per capita income of the richest 20 countries has risen from 54 times to 121 times that of the poorest 20 countries.

While the percentage of people in extreme poverty (less than $1 per day) decreased from 40% to 21% between 1981 – 2001, absolute numbers increased from 2.4 to 2.7 billion. The statistical gains were driven by economic growth in China and India, but in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa, extreme poverty rates stagnated or even worsened during this period.