Income inequality has risen or remained stagnant in 20 of the 29 advanced economies, and poverty has increased in 17. Most emerging economies have improved in these respects, with 84% of them registering a decline in poverty, though their absolute levels of inequality remain much higher. In both advanced and emerging economies, wealth is significantly more unequally distributed than income. This problem has improved little in recent years, with wealth inequality rising in 49 of the 103 economies. Figure 3 shows the level and evolution of income inequality over the past 10 years for selected economies.
In Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability, the trend is discouraging, with a decline in 56 of the 74 emerging economies. This is largely driven by growing fiscal and demographic pressures and a decline in adjusted net savings, which measures the true rate of savings in an economy, after taking into account investments in human capital, depletion of natural resources, and damage caused by pollution. Most economies perform poorly on this indicator, with most emerging economies recording deterioration. Notable exceptions include Brazil, China, and India, though these are mainly driven by strong human capital investment, while reporting high levels of resource depletion.
Italy ranks 27th among the 29 advanced economies evaluated by the IDI, and is on a declining trend. This performance shows a country characterized by low Growth and Development and little Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability. In fact, Italy is aging, shifting the political weight in favor of elder cohorts. This is echoed by the difficulty to lower public debt, which stakes a claim on Italy’s future resources in return for current gains, and by a high unemployment rate especially among the younger population. At the same time, income inequality and poverty are higher than in most advanced economies, and are increasing. Driven by slow growth, the future economic prospects of Italy are less positive than of other comparable countries. While Italy has managed to build shared wealth in the past (as measured by the wealth Gini index), increasing income inequality and low growth have started to erode such prosperity, calling for action in favor of more inclusive growth policies. Italy is, however, achieving a good performance on carbon intensity and health, as it has low carbon emissions and better health conditions (73 expected healthy years) than most economies.