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Lottery of birth
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4.3 Lives on the line

Inequality within countries as well as between countries remains a deeply rooted issue. For example, while life expectancy in the UK may have increased so much that it is among the longest in the world, there are still wide differences even within the same city.

Described image
Figure 6

Life expectancies in London were added to a map of the London underground railway network, which you will look at in the next activity. The results are interesting especially if you are reasonably familiar with London.

Activity 3 Thinking point

Look at Lives on the Line [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , a webiste which illustrates the differing life expectancies of people despite living in the same city at the same time. Can you tell from the map which are the richest and poorest parts of London?

What might the result of people living very different lives (in terms of inequality) so close together be?

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If you don’t know London at all, Kensington, Knightsbridge and the area called the ‘City of London’ have some of the highest property prices in the world and attract many very wealthy people. The ‘East End’ of London is, and has been for centuries, an area of high deprivation.

There are many maifestations of inequality (such as differences in life expectancy), but when people live close together the manifestations of inequality, such as homelessness and food banks, are difficult to ignore.

In the next section, you will find out about educational inequalities.