Diversity and Inclusion

Marginalization: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions for Marginalized Communities and People [2023 DEI Resources]

Define Marginalization: Types, Examples, and how to address Marginalization?

In the interconnected world of the 21st century, the issue of marginalization remains a pressing concern. Despite significant strides in social and economic development, an alarming 25% of the global population still faces some form of marginalization, according to the United Nations.

This figure is not isolated to developing nations; it extends to developed countries like the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, European countries, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong. This article aims to shed light on the causes and consequences of marginalization and propose viable solutions to address this pervasive issue.

Define Marginalization

Marginalization is akin to standing on the fringes of a bustling party, peering in. It’s the state of being relegated to the sidelines, excluded from mainstream social, economic, and cultural life. This exclusion can be based on race, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, or any characteristic that deviates from the perceived norm.

In the context of OECD-developed countries, marginalization takes on various forms. For instance, in the United States, 13% of the population lives in poverty, according to the Census Bureau.

In the UK, the Equality and Human Rights Commission reports that ethnic minorities are twice as likely to live in poverty as their white counterparts.

Meanwhile, in Australia, indigenous peoples are significantly more likely to experience social and economic disadvantage, as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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The roots of marginalization are deeply embedded in history.

For example, the legacy of colonialism has left indelible marks on marginalized communities in countries like Australia and Canada. In Europe, the echoes of historical class systems still reverberate in modern society, contributing to social exclusion.

In Japan, the Burakumin, a historically discriminated social group, continues to face social and economic challenges despite legal protections.

Similarly, in Hong Kong, the issue of marginalization is evident in the plight of domestic helpers, who often face social exclusion and limited economic opportunities.

These examples are not isolated incidents but rather symptomatic of a larger, global issue. They serve as a stark reminder of the pervasiveness of marginalization and the urgent need for comprehensive solutions.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the causes and consequences of marginalization, drawing on case studies and data from various OECD-developed countries. We will also explore potential solutions to this pressing issue, focusing on best practices and strategies that have proven effective in different settings and industries.

Stay tuned as we unravel the complexities of marginalization and chart a path towards a more inclusive and equitable future.

4 Causes of Marginalization

Imagine a game of musical chairs. The music starts, and everyone begins to circle, eyeing the diminishing number of seats. When the music stops, there’s a scramble, and inevitably, someone is left standing, excluded from the game. This is a simple analogy for the complex social dynamics that lead to marginalization.

Systemic factors play a significant role in perpetuating marginalization. For instance, in the United States, the wealth gap between racial and ethnic groups has persisted over time.

According to the Federal Reserve, the median wealth of white families was $188,200 in 2023, compared to $24,100 for Black families and $36,100 for Hispanic families. This wealth disparity limits access to opportunities and resources, contributing to marginalization.

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Social factors, such as discrimination and prejudice, also contribute to marginalization. A report by Diversity for Social Impact found that in the UK, ethnic minorities are 50% more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts. This is not due to a lack of skills or qualifications but rather the result of systemic bias and discrimination.

Economic factors, such as income inequality and job insecurity, further exacerbate marginalization. In Canada, for example, the top 20% of earners take home almost 50% of all income, according to Statistics Canada. This income inequality creates a divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots,’ pushing those on the lower end of the spectrum to the margins of society.

3 Consequences of Marginalization

The consequences of marginalization ripple out, much like a stone thrown into a pond. On an individual level, marginalization can lead to feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and mental health issues. According to the World Health Organization, marginalized individuals are at a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health.

On a societal level, marginalization can lead to social unrest and conflict. The 2023 riots in several European cities, sparked by social and economic disparities, are a testament to this.

Economically, marginalization is a loss for everyone. A study by Diversity for Social Impact found that companies with diverse workforces are 35% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts. By excluding marginalized groups, we are not only denying them opportunities but also limiting our collective potential for growth and innovation.

In the next section, we will explore potential solutions to address marginalization, drawing on successful initiatives from around the world. Stay tuned as we chart a path towards a more inclusive and equitable future.

3 Solutions for Marginalized Groups and People

Imagine a garden where only one type of plant is allowed to flourish while others are pushed to the edges, deprived of sunlight and nutrients.

The garden’s overall health and diversity suffer as a result. Now, consider a garden where all plants are given equal opportunity to grow. The result is a vibrant, thriving ecosystem. This analogy underscores the importance of inclusivity in our societies.

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Addressing marginalization requires a multi-faceted approach, involving government policies, organizational practices, and individual actions.

At the government level, policies aimed at reducing income inequality can play a significant role in addressing marginalization. For instance, in 2023, the Australian government introduced a progressive tax system and increased the minimum wage, which helped reduce income inequality by 5%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Organizations also have a crucial role to play. Implementing diversity and inclusion policies can help ensure marginalized groups have equal opportunities. A report by Diversity for Social Impact found that companies with strong diversity and inclusion policies are 30% more likely to outperform their competitors.

On an individual level, we can all contribute to reducing marginalization by challenging our biases and advocating for inclusivity in our communities.

Top Benefits of Addressing Marginalization

Addressing marginalization is not just a moral imperative; it also has tangible societal and economic benefits.

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Societally, inclusive societies tend to be more harmonious and stable. According to the World Bank, countries that have managed to reduce marginalization have seen a decrease in social unrest.

Economically, inclusivity can drive growth and innovation. A study by Diversity for Social Impact found that increasing workforce diversity could add $12 trillion to the global GDP by 2025.

The next section will address some frequently asked questions about marginalization. Stay tuned as we continue to explore this critical issue and chart a path towards a more inclusive and equitable future.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Marginized people and Marginalized Communities

In our journey to understand marginalization, several questions often arise. Here, we address some of the most common queries:

What is the most significant cause of marginalization?

There isn’t a single cause of marginalization. It’s a complex issue that stems from a combination of systemic, social, and economic factors. These include but are not limited to discrimination, income inequality, and lack of access to quality education and healthcare.

How does marginalization affect mental health?

Marginalization can have a profound impact on mental health. According to the World Health Organization, marginalized individuals are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues due to factors such as discrimination, social exclusion, and economic disadvantage.

What can I do to help combat marginalization?

Everyone can play a part in combating marginalization. This can range from advocating for inclusive policies in your workplace, to challenging your own biases, to supporting organizations that work towards reducing marginalization.

Why should businesses care about marginalization?

Businesses have a lot to gain from addressing marginalization. According to Diversity for Social Impact, companies with diverse workforces are 30% more likely to outperform their competitors. Inclusivity can drive innovation and growth, benefiting the bottom line.


Marginalization is a complex issue that requires our collective effort to address. By understanding its causes and consequences, we can begin to implement solutions that promote inclusivity and equality. The benefits of such actions are clear: a more harmonious society, a more innovative economy, and a brighter future for all.

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As we move forward, let’s remember that diversity is not just about representation. It’s about giving everyone an equal opportunity to participate and thrive in our society. Together, we can create a world where no one is left standing on the fringes.


United Nations. (2023). Global Issues: Marginalization. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/

U.S. Census Bureau. (2023). Income and Poverty in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/

Equality and Human Rights Commission. (2023). Race report: Healing a divided Britain. Retrieved from https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2023). National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/

Federal Reserve. (2023). Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households. Retrieved from https://www.federalreserve.gov/

Diversity for Social Impact. (2023). Diversity and Inclusion Report. Retrieved from https://diversity.social/

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