Over the past two decades, many countries in Asia have seen remarkable achievements in growth and poverty reduction. Many institutions believe annual growth rates of around 5% should be the norm for most countries for the next few years.
Expanding industrial activity throughout Asia has spurred demand for natural resources, energy and commodities. The rise of the middle class, meanwhile, has buoyed demand for just about everything else that comes with a better lifestyle, from smartphones to designer clothes, cars and urban homes. Life is getting better, richer and fuller for many Asian people.
However, the remarkable achievements of the past two decades have been accompanied by rising inequality in many countries. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a wider gap in per capita incomes, as measured by the Gini coefficient (a standard gauge of inequality), affected more than 80% of the Asian population in 2010. The richest 1% of Asian households now own about 6-8% of the region’s wealth — still lower than Latin America and the United States, but the gap is widening.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.