Income inequality has an effect in the broad social capital of a city since it gives rise to separate cultures of poverty. Persons in poverty are unable to prioritize spending on maintenance of physical living spaces, which leads to blighted neighborhoods. They are unable to contribute properly to the tax base, which makes it more difficult for public agencies to supply public services. Income disparities are greater today than at any other time since the 1920s in Harris County and greater in America than in any other country (Klineberg, 2005)
Sustainability Benefit: Median household income earnings in Houston have increased over time.
Sustainability Issue: The top 20 percent of earners report fluctuating incomes.
Median Income in the Sustainable Development Goals
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8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day. And in too many places, having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. This slow and uneven progress requires us to rethink and retool our economic and social policies aimed at eradicating poverty.
A continued lack of decent work opportunities, insufficient investments and under-consumption lead to an erosion of the basic social contract underlying democratic societies: that all must share in progress. The creation of quality jobs will remain a major challenge for almost all economies well beyond 2015.
Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working age population.
Related Median Income Targets
Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors