The Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)


The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. – Lin Yutang

The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, law of the vital few), named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who noted that 80% of consequences comes from 20% of the causes (the “vital few). Pareto made the observation at the University of Lausanne in 1896. In his first work Cours d’économie politique, he showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. The top 20% of the population had 80% of the wealth in Italy.

The Pareto Principle, states that 20 percent of the things you do account for 80 percent of the value of what you accomplish. This means that 80 percent of what you do is worth 20 percent or less of the value of what you accomplish.