India’s income inequality substantially increased since the 1980s

India’s income inequality has substantially increased since 1980s, which saw the onset of deregulation and industrial reforms, according to the first ‘World Inequality Report’ released on Wednesday. During the period, the top 0.1% earners in the country have increased their total wealth more than those in the bottom 50% combined, the report stated. The middle 40% also saw relatively lower growth in their income post-1980s. In contrast, in the thirty years since Independence, income inequality was widely reduced and incomes of the bottom 50% grew at a faster rate than the national average. The report, prepared by the World Inequality Lab, called for more transparency in income and wealth statistics that track the long-term evolution of inequality. “The fact that inequality trends vary so greatly among countries even when countries share similar level of development, highlights the important role of national policies in shaping inequality,” said Lucas Chanel, co-director of the World Inequality Lab. The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations organised the Indian launch of the report. The inequality rates have also increased rapidly in North America, China, Russia and moderately in Europe, while in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil, these have remained stable.