Big Ideas

Examining inequality: A look at the world's progress

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A woman carries her child in a sling on her back while holding an umbrella
Photo by Dominique Catton

W e were born in a wealthy country to white, well-off parents who lived in thriving communities and were able to send us to excellent schools. These factors, among many others, put us in a great position to be successful.

There are billions of people on the other side of these dividing lines, however. For hundreds of millions of people around the world, hardship is all but guaranteed.

Every person should have an equal opportunity to lead a healthy, productive life.
For the past 20 years, we’ve invested in health and development in low-income countries, because the worst inequality we’ve ever seen is children dying from easily preventable causes. In the United States, we’ve invested primarily in education, because a good school is a key to success, but you’re less likely to have access to one if you’re low-income, a student of color, or both.
Goalkeepers is our annual report card on the world’s progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 ambitious goals the member states of the United Nations committed to reaching by 2030. As we write, billions of people are projected to miss the targets that we all agreed represent a decent life. If we hope to accelerate progress, we must address the inequality that separates the lucky from the unlucky.

Every person should have an equal opportunity to lead a healthy, productive life.

Dive into the 2019 Goalkeepers report here.

Posted: September 23, 2019