The Pareto Principle asserts that, in the majority of systems, around 80% of effects arise from around 20% of causes.
The principle has been found to apply in computer science, biology, physics, economics and many other fields.
A King’s College London study of 1000 children carried out over 35 years has concluded that the 80-20 rule applies also to human development and its costs to society.
A 45-minute test at the age of three sought to gauge intelligence, language and motor skills, as well as to assess the children’s levels of tolerance, restlessness, impulsiveness and social disadvantage.
It found that by age 38 around 20% of the 1000 children were responsible for 81% of the group’s overall criminal convictions, three quarters of its drug prescriptions, two thirds of welfare benefits payments and more than half of nights in hospital.
Source: Sarah Knapton, Science Editor, Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 13th December 2016..