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Global inequality may be falling, but the gap between haves and have-nots is growing

By Carlos Gradín, Research Fellow, UNU-WIDER, United Nations University
Finn Tarp, Professor of Economics, University of Copenhagen
Murray Leibbrandt, NRF Chair in Poverty and Inequality Research; Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town and UNU-WIDER Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow., University of Cape Town
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In one of the most unequal countries in the world, South Africa, the poorest 40% have annual incomes of less than US$1,000 (£727) per person. The comparable incomes for the richest 10% are more than US$39,000 per person – nearly 40 times higher than those of the bottom 40%.

Those numbers, which are based on data from 2017, are actually something of an improvement on 2008, when the multiple was 50 times. But the gap in income between these groups grew by more than US$10,000 per person over this time. And more than two decades…

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