Businessweek reports:

Economic inequality is growing in the world’s richest countries, particularly in the United States, jeopardizing the American Dream of social mobility just as the world tilts toward recession, a 30-nation report said Tuesday.

The gap between rich and poor has widened over the last 20 years in nearly all the countries studied, even as trade and technological advances have spurred rapid growth in their economies.

With job losses and home foreclosures skyrocketing and many of these countries now facing recession, policy makers must act quickly to prevent a surge in populist and protectionist sentiment as was seen following the Great Depression, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

BBC News reports:

The report found that the income of the richest 10% of people was, on average, nearly nine times that of the poorest 10%.

Graph showing income gap between rich and poor

But the size of the income differentials varies, with the greatest disparity in Mexico, which has a ratio of 25 to one, followed by Turkey and the US.

The most equal distribution of wealth is in the Nordic countries, including Denmark, Sweden and Finland.