Gini Coefficient By Country 2020

The Gini coefficient, sometimes called the Gini Index or Gini ratio, is a statistical measure of distribution intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation. The Gini coefficient was developed by Italian statistician Corrado Gini in 1912, and today is the most commonly used measurement of wealth or income inequality.

The Gini coefficient ranges from 0 (0%) to 1 (100%), with 0 representing perfect equality and 1 representing perfect inequality. A higher Gini coefficient means greater inequality. If every resident of a nation had the same income, the Gini coefficient would be zero. If one resident earned all of the income in a nation and the rest earned zero, the Gini coefficient would be 1.

Mathematically, the Gini coefficient is defined based on the Lorenz curve. The Lorenz curve plots the percentiles of the population on the horizontal axis of the graph according to income or wealth, whichever is being measured. The cumulative income or wealth of the population is plotted on the vertical axis.

While the Gini coefficient is a useful tool for analyzing the wealth or income distribution in a country, it should not be used as an indicator of a country’s overall wealth or income. Some of the world’s poorest countries, such as the Central African Republic, have some of the highest Gini coefficients (61.3 in this case). A high-income country and a low-income country can have the same Gini coefficients. Additionally, due to limitations such as reliable GDP and income data, the Gini index may overstate income inequality and be inaccurate.

Income inequality has both political and economic impacts such as slower GDP growth, reduced income mobility, greater household debt, political polarization, and higher poverty rates.

According to World Bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016 report, the Gini coefficient saw a sustained growth during the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1820, the Gini coefficient was 0.50 and in 1980 and 1992, the figure was 0.657.

The countries with the highest Gini coefficients are:

  1. Lesotho (0.632)
  2. South Africa (0.625)
  3. Haiti (0.608)
  4. Botswana (0.605)
  5. Namibia (0.597)
  6. Zambia (0.575)
  7. Comoros (0.559)
  8. Hong Kong (0.539)
  9. Guatemala (0.530)
  10. Paraguay (0.517)

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world, with a Gini coefficient of 0.625. In 2005, the Gini coefficient was even higher at 0.650. In South Africa, the richest 10% hold 71% of the wealth, while the poorest 60% hold just 7% of the wealth. Additionally, more than have of South Africa’s population, about 55.5%, live in poverty, earning less than $83 per month.

The United States has a Gini coefficient of 0.485, the highest it has been in 50 years according to the United States Census Bureau. In 2015, the top 1% of earners in the United States averaged 40 times more income than the bottom 90%. Like other countries with higher Gini coefficients, poverty is an increasing issue. In the U.S. about 33 million workers earn less than $10 per hour, putting a family of four below the poverty level. Many of these low-wage workers have no sick days, pension, or health insurance.

Many European countries have some of the lowest Gini coefficients, such as Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, Belgium, and Norway. Inequality is generally lower in European nations than it is in non-European nations. The Nordic countries and Central Eastern European countries are among the most equal countries.

Below is a table of each country’s Gini coefficient.

Flag Country Gini Index Population 2019
Faroe Islands22.748,678
Slovakia23.75,457,013
Slovenia24.42,078,654
Sweden24.910,036,379
Czech Republic2510,689,209
Ukraine25.543,993,638
Belgium25.911,539,328
Kazakhstan26.318,551,427
Belarus26.59,452,411
Moldova26.84,043,263
Norway26.85,378,857
Germany2783,517,045
Finland27.25,532,156
Romania27.319,364,557
Iceland28339,031
Malta28.1440,372
Hungary28.29,684,679
Denmark295,771,876
Albania292,880,917
France29.365,129,728
Switzerland29.58,591,365
Australia30.325,203,198
Netherlands30.317,097,130
Luxembourg30.4615,729
Austria30.58,955,102
Pakistan30.7216,565,318
Croatia30.84,130,304
Poland30.837,887,768
Sao Tome And Principe30.8215,056
Ireland31.34,882,495
Armenia31.52,957,731
Egypt31.8100,388,073
Italy31.960,550,075
Montenegro31.9627,987
Liberia324,937,374
Canada32.137,411,047
Bangladesh32.1163,046,161
United Kingdom32.467,530,172
Tajikistan32.69,321,018
Nepal32.828,608,710
Ethiopia33112,078,730
Kyrgyzstan33.46,415,850
Taiwan33.623,773,876
Azerbaijan33.710,047,718
Bosnia And Herzegovina33.83,301,000
Greenland33.956,672
Portugal33.910,226,187
Mongolia343,225,167
Niger3423,310,715
Sierra Leone347,813,215
Latvia34.51,906,743
Cyprus34.81,198,575
Estonia34.81,325,648
Vietnam34.896,462,106
Jamaica352,948,279
Macau35640,445
India35.21,366,417,754
Algeria35.343,053,054
Mauritius35.91,269,668
Spain35.946,736,776
El Salvador366,453,553
New Zealand36.24,783,063
Benin36.511,801,151
Greece36.710,473,455
Laos36.77,169,455
Indonesia36.8270,625,568
Uzbekistan36.832,981,716
Mauritania374,525,696
Tanzania37.658,005,463
Cambodia37.916,486,542
Japan37.9126,860,301
Lithuania37.92,759,627
Yemen37.929,161,922
Maldives38.4530,953
Serbia38.78,772,235
Bhutan38.8763,092
Venezuela3928,515,829
Sri Lanka39.221,323,733
Guinea39.412,771,246
Uganda39.544,269,594
Burkina Faso39.520,321,378
Jordan39.710,101,694
Tunisia4011,694,719
Georgia40.13,996,765
Mali40.119,658,031
Bulgaria40.27,000,119
Turkey40.283,429,615
Senegal40.316,296,364
Turkmenistan40.85,942,089
Djibouti40.9973,560
Morocco40.936,471,769
Madagascar4126,969,307
Russia41.2145,872,256
Uruguay41.63,461,734
Argentina41.744,780,677
Gabon42.22,172,579
Ghana42.330,417,856
Burundi42.411,530,580
Angola42.731,825,295
Israel42.88,519,377
Zimbabwe43.214,645,468
Chad43.315,946,876
Central African Republic43.64,745,185
Philippines44.4108,116,615
Iran44.582,913,906
Thailand44.569,625,582
Cameroon44.625,876,380
Guyana44.6782,766
United States45329,064,917
Peru45.332,510,453
Mozambique45.630,366,036
Ecuador45.917,373,662
Saudi Arabia45.934,268,528
Singapore45.95,804,337
South Sudan4611,062,113
Togo468,082,366
Malawi46.118,628,747
Malaysia46.231,949,777
China46.51,433,783,686
Bolivia4711,513,100
Dominican Republic47.110,738,958
Honduras47.19,746,117
Nicaragua47.16,545,502
Mexico48.2127,575,529
Costa Rica48.55,047,561
Kenya48.552,573,973
Nigeria48.8200,963,599
Brazil49211,049,527
Rwanda50.412,626,950
Swaziland50.41,148,130
Chile50.518,952,038
Panama50.74,246,439
Papua New Guinea50.98,776,109
Colombia51.150,339,443
Paraguay51.77,044,636
Guatemala5317,581,472
Hong Kong53.97,436,154
Comoros55.9850,886
Zambia57.517,861,030
Namibia59.72,494,530
Botswana60.52,303,697
Haiti60.811,263,077
South Africa62.558,558,270
Lesotho63.22,125,268