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CEB publishes thematic series of papers on inequality in Europe

8 February 2018

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) published online a new thematic series of economic papers on inequality in Europe. The papers look at how inequality manifests itself in a range of areas and consider ways of tackling it, particularly through social investment.

Despite being regarded as the most equal continent in the world, Europe has seen inequality increase in recent years, both among countries and within individual countries.

Publications under this new CEB series cover a range of sectors in which there is inequality in Europe. The first paper serves as an introduction to inequality in terms of income, the other two investigate how inequality manifests itself in the area of education and in the housing sector. Future publications will cover other areas, including health. 

Some of the key findings of the papers published are:

  • On average, Europeans in the top 20% of the income distribution have five times more of national income than those in the bottom 20%.
  • Southern and Central-Eastern Europe are the most unequal regions. While some Central-Eastern European countries have recently started reversing rises in inequality, in Southern Europe equality continues to deteriorate.
  • Income mobility has declined, with those in the bottom 40% less likely to move out of their socio-economic group than they were in 2008.
  • Those at the bottom have less access to quality education, making it harder to perform in a competitive education-based labour market and are often more likely to be faced with housing costs being a heavy burden on their disposable income than richer counterparts.
  • Public and socially-oriented investment can go a long way in tackling inequalities.

You can access the first three papers on inequality here.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

Related publications
  • Study on inequalities Part 3-Housing
    Housing inequality in Europe
    Tackling inequalities in Europe: the role of social investment Published: February 2018 Download
  • Study on inequalities Part 2-Education
    Educational inequality in Europe
    Tackling inequalities in Europe: the role of social investment Published: February 2018 Download
  • Study on inequalities Part 1-Introduction
    An introduction to inequality in Europe
    Tackling inequalities in Europe: the role of social investment Published: February 2018 Download