Wealth inequality in democratic nations today has reached higher levels than ever before. The percentage of wealth owned by the rich compared to the rest of the country is greater in the United States than it is in nearly all of West Africa, North Africa, Asia, and Europe. But even in the European nations, where stronger social safety nets are meant to ensure more distribution of wealth to those in need, the wealth gap is increasing at an alarming rate. So we wanted to find out: do Europeans think this is an important problem?
Our results showed that an overwhelming 84% of Europeans agree that wealth and income inequality is an important issue in their country. Unsurprisingly, lower income Europeans were more likely than other income groups to strongly agree with the statement: 55% of very low income Europeans completely agreed compared to 34% of those with very high income. Comparing the results by region, we found that the Southern European countries, where wealth and income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient) is generally higher, were more likely to strongly agree that inequality is an important problem.
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