Severe income inequality is the biggest risk facing the world, according to a study by the World Economic Forum.
In a landscape of 50 global risks facing the world over the next 10 years, respondents rated severe income inequality as the most likely global risk. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being "almost certain" to occur, severe income disparity was given a risk rating of 4.14 by the experts, ranking above chronic fiscal imbalances (3.99), greenhouse emissions (3.91), water supply crisis (3.85) and mismanagement of population aging (3.83).
It is the second year in a row that income inequality has reached first place as the most likely global risk. Major financial systemic failure gained the top spot for the biggest global risk in terms of impact.
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Branko Milanovic, lead economist at the World Bank's research group, said that severe income inequality could fuel mass migration and popular uprisings.
"Global inequality reflects two types of increasing inequalities: rising gaps between nations (which cause migration) and rising inequalities within nations (which cause protests, disenchantment and revolts). So, in that double sense, what happens to global inequality is very important," Milanovic said.