Income gap is the gap in income between one group and another in the society. It differentiates the society into demographical segments or groups.
The two common groups are usually the poor, sometimes called the low-class, and the rich also called high-class; the average class can be added sometimes.
Income Gap an example of social inequality, more concentrated than gender inequality and social class. The tenth goal of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) focuses on “reduced inequalities within and among countries” ensuring no one is left behind in the society.
It talks about how and why the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer; this fact has made it a major public concern in societies today.
Income gap, which is also understood as income inequality, has resulted in high cost of living, low standard of living, increase in crime rates, food insecurity, health challenges, social unrest and eventually economic meltdown.
According to Economics scholars, one of the main reasons why the income gap keeps widening is because of the greater inequality in wages and salaries; the high-skilled and more connected have more to benefit. This happens to be true in African settings.
On the contrary, if someone works hard enough to receive a higher wage, he has contributed to the boosting of the society.
A high income gap has various disadvantages in the society especially those with lower socio-economic status. Low-income statuses will lead to shorter life expectancy, higher infant mortality rates, and higher death rates.
Since the demand of goods and services depend on the income of the people, only those with enough income will be able to afford some goods and services. This is turn will lead to a high population of people who can’t afford their basic needs and wants.
Inadequate household income is also a barrier to accessing healthy diets and the desired services in Nigeria.
Although household pay taxes and provision of factors of production that drives the economy, most of them don‘t get the desired returns in terms of income.
One of the government’s economic duties is to embark on financial policies that will alleviate poverty and reduce the income gap of its citizens; this is achieved by:
- Increasing the minimum wage
- Investing in education and security
- Expanding the earned income tax
- Building assets for the society
- Implementing favorable economic policies
- Granting support to small businesses
The government can do so little catering to a large population. Yet, citizens have a lot of reasons why they should increase their income; from basic survival to paying off debts, saving and invest. One just has to look for ways to increase his income.
Ways to increase your income include:
- Ask for a raise in salary or better still, how to get one at work.
- Get a part-time job if your strength permits.
- Turn your hobby into a side hustle that won’t affect your job if you’re working.
- Look for ways to cut your expenses through wasted food, unused subscriptions, etc.
- Sell other people’s product: affiliate marketing.
- Sell off some stuffs in your home that are still valuable but you don’t need.
- Ask if you can work from home if your workplace is really far from home. You never know how much you can save from your transport fare.
- Eat healthy.
While government and economic institutions look for ways to constantly reduce income gap in the society, we as individuals should also do our best to get the best.