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Assessing Changes in Inequality for Millennium Development Goals among Countries: Lessons for the Sustainable Development Goals

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(7), 207;
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 28 June 2019 / Published: 3 July 2019
In 2000, the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight global development goals to be achieved between 2000 and 2015. We estimated the Lorenz Curve and Gini Index for determining any changes in inequality at the global level with countries as a unit of analysis for eight development indicators (proportion of population undernourished, school enrollment rates, the percentage of women in parliament, infant mortality rates, maternal mortality rates, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) rates, access to improved water sources, and access to a cellular device), representing one MDG each. All of the selected indicators improved on average between 2000 and 2015. An average improvement in an indicator does not necessarily imply a decrease in inequality. For instance, the average infant mortality rate decreased from 39.17 deaths per 1000 births in 2000 to 23.40 in 2015, but the Gini Index remained almost stable over the same period, suggesting no reduction in inequality among countries. For other indicators, inequality among countries decreased at varying rates. A significant data gap existed across countries. For example, only 91 countries had data on primary school enrollment rates in 2000 and 2015. We emphasize developing a global data collection and analysis protocol for measuring the impacts of global development programs, especially in reducing inequality across social, economic, and environmental indicators. This study will feed into currently enacted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for ensuring more inclusive and equitable growth worldwide. View Full-Text
Keywords: inequality; Gini Index; Lorenz Curve; sustainable development inequality; Gini Index; Lorenz Curve; sustainable development
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Fuller, M.; Dwivedi, P. Assessing Changes in Inequality for Millennium Development Goals among Countries: Lessons for the Sustainable Development Goals. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 207.

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