Research shows a strong correlation between income inequality and a number of health measures and social problems, including life expectancy, mental illness, levels of trust, children’s educational performance, imprisonment rates and social mobility.
To suggest that these relationships are causal does not involve a major departure from what we know already. All of these problems are strongly related to social status: the further down the social ladder, the more common they become. The new part of the picture is simply the finding that if you stretch out the social status differences by increasing inequality, all the problems related to social status become more common. Rather than postulating entirely new causal processes, the evidence simply provides a bit more information about the relationships that have always been recognised.
To learn more, visit The Equality Trust website, where you can also find information on inequality and what you can do to help.