A Broken Social Elevator?
This article is published in collaboration with Statista
by Anna Fleck
Has the social elevator broken down? While income inequalities have been growing for several decades, social mobility has stalled. Those at the bottom of the ladder are finding it increasingly difficult to climb upwards, while the very rich are generally still able to increase their wealth.
An OECD study looked at the average number of generations needed for people born into the poorest families (among the poorest 10 percent) to reach the average income level in their country.
As the following infographic shows, Colombia is one of the OECD's worst performers, with 11 generations needed to reach the average income. This is far below the 4.5 generations which is the average for the 30 countries analyzed. It is followed by Brazil (nine), China (seven) and India (seven). Upward mobility is on average faster in the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland (five generations), as well as in Spain and Belgium (four generations).
Among the OECD countries studied, the prize for social mobility goes to Denmark, where two generations on average are enough for an individual from a modest background to reach the average income level.
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