What is meant by "inclusive growth"?

Updated: Jul 19

According to the OECD (2015), inclusive growth is "economic growth that creates opportunities for all segments of the population and distributes the dividends of increased prosperity, both in monetary and non-monetary terms, fairly across society”


Inclusive growth enables the widest range of people and businesses to both contribute to, and benefit from economic success. It addresses social, economic, environmental and health inequalities by looking at different ways of achieving growth that benefits society as a whole.


There are many things that fit under the inclusive growth umbrella that will help to drive productivity and share prosperity. It’s broad spectrum includes adopting flexible work practices, ones that will bring those with caring responsibilities, often women looking after children or elderly parents, back into the workforce. It is not just about reducing benefit dependency but about improving skills, widening diversity in the work force and addressing gender pay gaps.


In working closely with the local government, private-sector and public-sector, and communities across the City, assessing and addressing what inclusive growth looks like in a local context is key to achieving maximum impact. Though in the context of America, McKinsey offers a useful visual for three actions, informed by three underlying principles, that can help business leaders successfully pursue inclusive growth and that can easily be applied in the context of Plymouth.



This approach is informed by an understanding that any successful effort will need to bring together technical expertise, adaptive approaches and mindsets, and community engagement to alter adverse dynamics in complex environments.


Inclusive growth is also about improving people’s health and wellbeing through a better work / life balance, introducing initiatives that will empower whole communities, and embracing greener ways that will reduce society’s carbon footprint. For example, finding ways to improve air quality – through how people work and live – is critical to both the environment and general health and wellbeing.