Social Inclusion

August 15, 2013


  • Social inclusion is central to ending extreme poverty and fostering shared prosperity.
  • Social inclusion is both an outcome and a process of improving the terms on which people take part in society.

Poverty alone is not a comprehensive marker of deprivation. Race, ethnicity, gender, religion, place of residence, disability status, age, HIVAIDS status, sexual orientation or other stigmatized markers, confer disadvantage that excludes people from a range of processes and opportunities.

The World Bank defines social inclusion as the process of improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in society.

Social inclusion aims to empower poor and marginalized people to take advantage of burgeoning global opportunities. It ensures that people have a voice in decisions which affect their lives and that they enjoy equal access to markets, services and political, social and physical spaces.

Social inclusion is a central tenet in the World Bank Group's dual goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity.

It is possible to construct a measure or a set of indicators, drawing from recent efforts and keeping in mind context-specificity. Examples of recent measures of well-being include:

The World Bank addresses social exclusion through a range of programs and projects.