In a significant number of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, inequality in average income in metropolitan and rural areas has been found to be growing.
According to the OECD’s Regional Outlook Report, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) levels have converged among OECD economies due to the high growth performance of low-income economies in the last 20 years.
Despite this, metropolitan and rural income inequality has grown in 15 of the 27 OECD countries for which relevant data are available. GDP reached an average of 32 percent higher in metropolitan areas than in rural areas. As cities continue to grow and attract skilled workers, the number of workers and populations have shrunk in other regions.
Specially designed policies and institutional steps are needed to eliminate these “permanent inequalities” between regions.
In his evaluation of the report, OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann stated that, according to available data, the income gap between regions has widened in 15 of the 27 OECD countries in question and said, “This situation is largely explained by access to fewer opportunities for workers and businesses. We try to encourage growth in underdeveloped regions.” “To help, policy frameworks must address persistent inequalities, improve access to public services and infrastructure, and increase productivity and competitiveness. These steps should include better seizing digital transformation opportunities for regions and improving governance and government capacity.” he said.