Unsustainable extremes? Geographies of wealth

by Jayne Glass

In April 2010 the Sunday Times newspaper reported that the wealth of the richest 1000 people in the UK had risen by an average of £77 million each in just one year, to now stand at £335.5 billion.  Earlier in the year, the ‘Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK’ report presented a startling analysis of how unequal Britain’s wealth has become: the richest 10% of the population are more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10% of society. The report finds that the government failed to ‘plug the gap’ between the poorest and richest in society in the 1980s.

In an ‘early view’ article in The Geographical Journal, Danny Dorling analyses inequality trends and  suggests there were key times when the trends changed direction.  However, he also finds that is hard to identify when a government changed from the trend data.  As a result, Dorling suggests that three main parties offer very similar solutions to the issue of reducing inequality and therefore it seems unlikely that voting will make much of a difference. Instead, political parties need to rethink how they will tackle growing issues of inequality that have led to such unsustainable extremes of wealth in the UK.

Read BBC News: ‘Super-rich become wealthier again’ (24 April 2010)

Read The Guardian: ‘Unequal Britain: richest 10 % are now 100 times better off than the poorest’ (27 January 2010)

Read ‘An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK’ (report commissioned by Harriet Harman, published January 2010)

Read Dorling, D. (early view) All connected? Geographies of race, death, wealth, votes and births. The Geographical Journal.

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