From the department of unhelpful statistics today I read this:
“Recent estimates indicate that at the current rate it will take more than 800 years for the bottom billion of the world population to achieve 10% of global income.”
Seems like a shockingly slow rate of progress, since anything that takes 800 years is basically not happening. But the problem is with the juxtaposition of a big number (billion) with a small fraction (10%). A billion people isn’t that big a fraction of the population anymore. Actually, if we could ever get to that level of world inequality it would be great.
Since the bottom billion of the world is about 14% of the 7 billion people in the world, getting them 10% of the global income would be a very low level of inequality — they’d only be 4% away from a perfectly egalitarian world. In the United States now, for example, the bottom 14% of families only get about 3% of the income.
Incidentally, here’s that family distribution: