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Global inequality

Global inequality is a vast issue, affecting life expectancy, access to clean water, and wealth distribution. The richest fifth of the population holds 82.7% of global income, while the poorest fifth only has 1.4%. Maternal mortality rates also highlight healthcare disparities, with rates drastically higher in Central and Western Africa compared to Europe and America. Created by Arshya Vahabzadeh.

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  • male robot hal style avatar for user Andrii Kovalenko
    One of the main differences in average life expectancy between developing countries and countries like Japan / France is obviously the early childhood deaths. I wonder what would the numbers look like if cases of birth and early childhood deaths were not accounted and what is the difference in life expectancy of people who reached 20 in developing countries vs more wealthy ones.
    (5 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Sean Collin
    I don't understand this video. This seems extremely obvious. Wealthier, more developed countries have better resources. Why? Because they can afford them. And visa versa. This is a theme throughout these Social Inequality videos. And why is this part of the MCAT? Thanks for your help.
    (0 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user Arzt2Doc
      Some issues I take with your post:
      1) North America is not the US. There is also Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Cuba and some others. I wish I didn't have to explain that.
      2) Speaking of Cuba - Cuba isn't universally heralded as being a fantastic health care spot. Forced abortions and government manipulation of healthcare-related statistics are notable issues, something "Sicko" might not have mentioned.

      As for how North America's Maternal Mortality Rate ended up being 23 per 100000 - here are some numbers from the World Bank (all in 100,000):
      Canada - 7
      US - 14
      Mexico - 38
      Cuba - 39
      Haiti - 359
      (5 votes)
  • leaf green style avatar for user schiller.marisa
    What can we do to fix this, to get an equal amount of water to every nation?
    (2 votes)
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    • starky ultimate style avatar for user josephaldenmoore
      There are ways of transferring large amounts of water, usually by Aquaducts, tapping into local aquafers, and the old fashioned way of shipping it in containers on boats.

      But there are other ways to help. Global trade lets water intensive work be done where there is the most water, African countries can then trade their natural and human resources in exchange. Another way to help is to allow freer migration, so more people can move from resource poor parts of the world to resource rich.

      Encouraging NGO involvement can help. One project that I have been involved in is the Uganda Water project, which aims to improve water collecting infrastructure in rural Uganda. But people can also build up their own wealth if the local government isn't corrupt, the land isn't damaged by war, and property rights are enforced.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user yrsem
    Do we need to memorize numbers here? or should we understand the patterns for the MCAT?
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user maryamedu2
    I dont know I feel sad watching this video in particular, we have subdivided the earth.....
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user leen.logan
    Well so more money equal more food water and higher life expectancies!
    (0 votes)
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Video transcript

- The world is an unequal place. Let's consider Japan. People in Japan live up until the age of 84 on average. That's combined, the men and women. People in the US can live up until the age of 79 on average. And France does pretty well; they live on average up until the age of 82. Well, let's consider Angola and the Congo. Average life expectancy is 51 and 52 years. Wow! That's a pretty big difference, huh? Thirty years different to France and Japan, at least. What about India? India, people live up until the age of 66 years. As we can see throughout the world, there's a tremendous amount of variation in life expectancy. Life expectancy can be a mix of many different things. Access to food, access to healthcare, access to vaccinations, access to clean water and sanitation. We can see that there's a tremendous range. Angola and the Congo are some of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Japan and France and the US are among some of the highest. This shows you some of the big variation. Let's not just take life expectancy, let's take water. Access to an improved water source or cleaned water. In the US, almost everybody has access to clean water. In Europe, the story is fairly similar. Half of the large parts of Central and Western Africa, access to clean water is very difficult for a substantial number of people. In fact, up to a third of people may not have access to clean water sources. As we can see already, just by looking at life expectancy and access to clean water, the world does look like an uneven place. What we're really looking at here is global inequality. Something else is pretty useful to do when we're looking at global inequality is to draw a champagne glass. The reason why drawing a champagne glass is really useful because the champagne glass can help to explain the inequalities in income that we see. The inequalities in wealth that we see globally. Because the champagne glass represents the distribution of wealth globally. Now, if we break down the global population to fifths, and we take the top fifth ... in fact, we call them the richest fifth. The richest fifth have 82.7% of the global income. What about the poorest fifth? The poorest fifth, on the other hand, barely get a look in. They barely see any of that income. They get 1.4% of the global income. What about the 60%, the 3/5 that are in the middle? The mathematicians amongst you must have already worked it out. They get less than 16% of the income between them. As we can see, this glass analogy works pretty well, because the richest, by far, are getting all the money, all the income. They're getting the vast majority. There's another interesting fact that I want you to know, the richest 85 people have got more wealth than the poorest 3.5 billion people in the world. As we can see that there are great inequalities in wealth. There are richer countries, poorer countries, and there's a great deal of inequality in individual countries. Countries that are classed as being relatively disadvantaged, relatively poor, within them may have extremely rich people, and there can be a great deal of income disparity within those countries. We mentioned wealth; let's move on to health. Let's take our champagne glass and let's turn it upside down, because one of the things I really want to talk to you now is the maternal mortality rate. This is the rate at which mothers die around childbirth. This is super important. This is a great marker for how effective, and how good the healthcare systems are. Now, I drew the champagne glass upside down, because one of the things we know is that across the world there is a great deal of difference in terms of how many people die in childbirth. We start right at the top. We know that in Northern Europe and in America, between 10 to 20 per 100,000 women may die as a result of childbirth, so the rate is relatively low. As we go to, for example, South America, the rate increases to say, 75 per 100,000. As we can see, that's gone up. Now we start to rise. In Southeast Asia, 170 per 100,000. Now, as we can see, we're looking at right at the top of this upside down champagne glass. Here, we have Central and Western Africa. The rates here are 700 or more per 100,000. If we consider maternal mortality to be a marker of a healthcare, system's healthcare delivery, we can see that the stem of the glass, we've got relatively low numbers, right? Europe, 10, and then we compare that to Central and Western Africa, over 700. That's a 70-fold increase in risk. As we can see that these numbers are pretty dramatic. This is a champagne glass you don't want to be towards the bottom of unlike our previous statistic. As we can see, global inequalities are rife, whether we look at them in terms of access to water, access to wealth, or in terms of healthcare delivery.