Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects
Honors Thesis Project Title
Investigating the Role of Income Inequality in the Impact of Natural Disasters in Lower Middle-Income Countries
Date of Graduation
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Anthropology: Disasters, Displacements, and Human Rights
Dr. Clea McNeely
Graham, Madison L., "Investigating the Role of Income Inequality in the Impact of Natural Disasters in Lower Middle-Income Countries" (2020). Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects.
Emergency and Disaster Management Commons, Environmental Public Health Commons, Growth and Development Commons, Income Distribution Commons, International Public Health Commons, Medical Humanities Commons, Social and Cultural Anthropology Commons
Objectives: The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between income inequality and rates of death and injury from natural disasters.
Methods: Utilizing data from the World Bank, the Emergency Events Database, and the Central Intelligence Agency I compared rates of income inequality with per capita death and injury rates in 28 lower middle-income countries, from the timespan 2004-2014. Measures of gross national income, the Gini coefficient of income inequality, and total numbers of people affected, injured, and deaths per country were used. Countries were sorted by increasing income inequality and their rates of death and injury charted, in order to visually represent potential relationships between increasing inequality and rates of death and injury from disaster.
Results: Income inequality varies greatly even between countries with similar incomes. Per capita death and injury from natural disasters also varied. However, of the countries included in this data set, the rates of death and injury from disaster did not increase in conjunction with increasing income inequality.
Conclusions: Based on this study, there is not a conclusive relationship between income inequality and rates of death and injury from disasters. More research is necessary, with a larger data set, to further understand the role of nations’ income inequality in the impact of natural disasters on their population.