The average well-being of our societies is not dependent any longer on national income and economic growth. … But the differences between us and where we are in relation to each other now matter very much.

Richard Wilkinson

Quotation #18081

About This Quote

“How Economic Inequality Harms Societies.” TEDGlobal2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation.

Source: "How Economic Inequality Harms Societies." TEDGlobal2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation. Additional Information: This quote by public health researcher Richard Wilkinson is from Wilkinson's 2011 TED Talk about the human cost of economic inequality. The quote means that while it may not have been the case in the past, today, a nation's standard of living is no longer correlated to measures of the nation's overall economic standing, as measured by the gross national product, for example; however, a society's average quality of life is highly correlated with the level of economic inequality among its residents. That is, countries with higher levels of economic inequality (where the richest residents are much richer than the poorest residents) have a much lower average standard of living than countries that are more equal. Examples Wilkinson gives of countries with high and low levels of economic quality include the U.S. (high income inequality) and Denmark (low income inequality). Watch the full TED Talk here: Richard Wilkinson - How Economic Inequality Harms Societies