United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Reduce inequality within and among countries


Related Goals

Targets and Indicators



By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average


Growth rates of household expenditure or income per capita among the bottom 40 per cent of the population and the total population



By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status


Proportion of people living below 50 per cent of median income, by sex, age and persons with disabilities



Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard


Proportion of population reporting having personally felt discriminated against or harassed within the previous 12 months on the basis of a ground of discrimination prohibited under international human rights law



Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality


Labour share of GDP


Redistributive impact of fiscal policy



Improve the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions and strengthen the implementation of such regulations


Financial Soundness Indicators



Ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions


Proportion of members and voting rights of developing countries in international organizations



Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies


Recruitment cost borne by employee as a proportion of montlhy income earned in country of destination


Number of countries with migration policies that facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people


Number of people who died or disappeared in the process of migration towards an international destination


Proportion of the population who are refugees, by country of origin



Implement the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements


Proportion of tariff lines applied to imports from least developed countries and developing countries with zero-tariff



Encourage official development assistance and financial flows, including foreign direct investment, to States where the need is greatest, in particular least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their national plans and programmes


Total resource flows for development, by recipient and donor countries and type of flow (e.g. official development assistance, foreign direct investment and other flows)



By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent


Remittance costs as a proportion of the amount remitted

Progress and Info

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated global income inequality, partly reversing the decline of the previous two decades. Weak recoveries in emerging markets and developing economies are expected to raise between-country inequality. Globally, refugees were at the highest absolute number on record in 2021. The war in Ukraine is creating one of the largest refugee crises of modern times.

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, more than three-fifths of countries with available data saw higher growth in household expenditure or income per capita among the bottom 40% of the population than the national average. The pandemic is threatening to reverse this trend. In 2020 many countries saw declines in the growth of the bottom 40% of greater magnitude than the national average.

Banks’ profitability weakened in 2020 mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, although reported asset quality remained good. Based on financial soundness indicators data for 2015 -2020, the fraction of countries reporting return on assets (ROA) above 1.0% declined to 48% in 2020 from 72% in 2019, and the median ROA declined from 1.5% to 1.0%.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project recorded 5,895 deaths on migratory routes worldwide in 2021, surpassing pre-pandemic figures and making it the deadliest year on record for migrants since 2017.

By mid-2021, the number of people who were forced to flee their countries due to war, conflict, persecution, human rights violations, and events seriously disturbing public order had grown to 24.5 million, the highest absolute number on record. For every 100,000 people, 311 are refugees outside their country of origin – this is an increase from 216 in 2015. In addition, as of 12 April 2022, around 4.7 million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries.

Globally, in 2021, 62.3% of 138 countries with data reported having a wide range of policies to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, defined as having policy measures for 80% or more of the 30 sub-categories under the six domains of the indicator.

The proportion of tariff lines applied to imports admitted duty free from LDCs, SIDs, and developing countries have remained relatively stable in recent years, at around 64.5%, 65% and 51%, respectively. 

The global average cost of sending $200 decreased from 9.3% in 2011, to 7.42% in 2016 and 6.3% of the amount sent in 2021, getting closer to the international target of 5%.


Source: Report of the Secretary-General, Progress towards Sustainable Development Goals-E/2022