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Education and Inequality in Various Countries


The article “Which Countries Are the Most (and Least) Committed to Reducing Inequality?” forms part of McIntyre’s works published in 2017. Using data from two research-based institutions, namely, Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI), McIntyre examines different countries’ levels of commitment to reducing inequalities. McIntyre’s claim that the UK is one of the nations whose high inequality levels are attributable to their minimal educational investments and low tax rates can be disputed.

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Consequently, this paper argues that indicators such as taxation, investments in academics, advocacy for labor rights, and the degree of spending on social sectors are not the only pointers of countries’ disparity levels. Considering other elements, for instance, innovation and gender variations may give a different conclusion.

Data Used to Support the Story

McIntyre uses data regarding 18 indicators of inequality to explain the UK’s 17th rank in a list of 152 nations.1 According to this article, Great Britain takes position 109 in terms of its budgetary allocation to education. The UK falls below developing countries, including Cambodia and Zimbabwe, with the latter doing far better since its expenditure on education is more than three times that of the UK.2

To support the article’s claims using the above data, the author considers other sources such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) among others, which confirm the UK’s limited efforts towards increasing the accessibility of education by the poor. For example, according to the IFS, the UK’s tuition fees are going up at a higher rate compared to other industrialized nations.3 This article further supports this phenomenon using policy decisions meant to not only abolish students’ maintenance grants but also raise tuition fees.

Accessibility of Data

Data used in this article is readily accessible through links that direct readers to organizations such as Oxfam. For instance, it is evident that the UK’s corporate tax is low when compared to other developed nations. One can verify this claim by accessing Oxfam’s data that shows a reduction from 19 percent to 17 percent.4 This article also provides a link to the new index, which shows the UK’s 17th position in terms of its commitment to reducing inequality levels. Based on this index, Sweden takes the first position while Nigeria is ranked the last, despite being the richest African nation in terms of GDP.

Value Addition

Data used in this article is valuable because interested scholars and organizations can quote it to substantiate claims regarding the UK’s taxation levels and its low investment in the education sector. This situation reveals its high inequality levels compared to Sweden.5 The above claim can only appear as an opinion if no justifications are made from well-known agencies, including Oxfam and DFI, which put the UK behind Sweden in terms of equality levels as measured from 18 different indicators.

The Credibility of This Story Without Data

This news article would not have been convincing without credible data. Empirical facts are critical in ensuring that a researcher’s argument is compelling. However, without a discussion of methodologies used to acquire data, it lacks a mechanism for considering the strengths and weaknesses of data deployed in a particular article. In the absence of statistical data, conclusions made in this article would not be believable.6 One would expect a developed country such as the UK to have significant investments in the education sector. Consequently, it would be impossible to accept any contrary views that are not backed by data from reliable sources.

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This article has identified various indicators that highly influence countries’ inequality levels. Investments in education and health, promotion of labor rights, taxation frameworks, and expenditure of people’s welfare are some of these pointers. However, the author should have considered other elements such as innovation, globalization, and occupational disparities in the UK to draw valid conclusions. Overall, this article needs to be improved by including additional indicators other than tax rates and investments in education because these two aspects cannot sufficiently reveal the UK’s inequality status.


McIntyre, Niamh. “Which Countries Are the Most (and Least) Committed to Reducing Inequality?The Guardian, 2017. Web.


  1. Niamh McIntyre, “Which Countries Are the Most (and Least) Committed to Reducing Inequality?” The Guardian, 2017. Web.
  2. Ibid., para. 2
  3. Ibid., para. 4.
  4. Ibid., para. 3.
  5. Ibid., para. 1.
  6. Ibid., para. 2.

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