Gini Coefficient by Country 2022

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The Gini coefficient, also called the Gini index or Gini ratio, is the most commonly used measure of income distribution—simply put, the higher the Gini coefficient, the greater the gap between the incomes of a country's richest and poorest people. A country's Gini coefficient is important because it helps identify high levels of income inequality, which can have several undesirable political and economic impacts. These include slower GDP growth, reduced income mobility, greater household debt, political polarization, and higher poverty rates.

Explaining the Gini coefficient

Developed by Italian statistician Corrado Gini in 1912, the Gini coefficient ranges from 0 to 1, but is often written as a percentage. To offer two hypothetical examples, if a nation were to have absolute income equality, with every person earning the same amount, its Gini score would be 0 (0%). On the other hand, if one person earned all the income in a nation and the rest earned zero, the Gini coefficient would be 1 (100%). Mathematically, the Gini coefficient is defined based on the Lorenz curve. The Lorenz curve plots the percentiles of the population on the graph's horizontal axis according to income or wealth, whichever is being measured. The cumulative income or wealth of the population is plotted on the vertical axis.

Limitations of the Gini coefficient

While the Gini coefficient is a useful tool for analyzing the wealth or income distribution in a country, it does not indicate that 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.

Countries with the highest and lowest Gini coefficients

South Africa ranks as the country with the lowest level of income equality in the world, thanks to a Gini coefficient of 63.0 when last measured in 2014. That said, in 2005, the Gini coefficient was even higher, at 65.0. In South Africa, the richest 10% hold 71% of the wealth, while the poorest 60% hold just 7% of the wealth. Additionally, more than half of South Africa's population lives in poverty.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Gini Coefficients (%) - World Bank:

  1. South Africa - 2014 - 63.0
  2. Namibia - 2015 - 59.1
  3. Suriname - 1999 - 57.9
  4. Zambia - 2015 - 57.1
  5. Sao Tome and Principe - 2017 - 56.3
  6. Central African Republic - 2008 - 56.2
  7. Eswatini - 2016 - 54.6
  8. Mozambique - 2014 - 54.0
  9. Brazil - 2019 - 53.4
  10. Belize - 1999 - 53.3

Now for the good news:

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Gini Coefficients (%) - World Bank:

  1. Slovenia - 2018 - 24.6
  2. Czech Republic - 2018 - 25.0 (tie)
  3. Slovakia - 2018 - 25.0 (tie)
  4. Belarus - 2019 - 25.3
  5. Moldova - 2018 - 25.7
  6. United Arab Emirates - 2018 - 26.0
  7. Iceland - 2017 - 26.1
  8. Azerbaijan - 2005 - 26.6 (tie)
  9. Ukraine - 2019 - 26.6 (tie)
  10. Belgium - 2018 - 27.2

Nordic and Central Eastern European countries dominate this list, claiming seven of the top 10 slots. Inequality is generally lower in Europe than elsewhere in the world, and the Gini coefficient offers quantifiable proof of that fact. The United States has a Gini coefficient of 41.1. In 2015, the top 1% of earners in the United States averaged 40 times more income than the bottom 90%. In the U.S., poverty is a growing issue, where an estimated 12.3-17.8 percent below the poverty level (see Poverty Rate by Country). Many of these low-wage workers live paycheck-to-paycheck and have no sick days, pension, or health insurance.

The Gini coefficient saw sustained growth during the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1820, the global Gini coefficient was 0.50, and in 1980 and 1992, the figure was 0.657. According to World Bank's Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020 report, the Gini coefficient increases about 1.5 points in the five years following major epidemics, such as H1N1 (2009), Ebola (2014), and Zika (2016). While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being calculated, early estimates predicted an increase in Gini coefficient of 1.2-1.9 percentage points per year for 2020 and 2021, signaling an increase in income inequality.

Gini Coefficient by Country 2022

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Gini Coefficient by Country 2022

Country Gini % - World Bank Data Year (World Bank) Gini % - CIA World Factbook Data Year (CIA) 2022 Population
South Africa63201463201460,756,135
Namibia59.1201559.120152,633,874
Suriname57.91999596,831
Zambia57.1201557.1201519,470,234
Sao Tome And Principe56.3201756.32017227,679
Central African Republic56.2200843.620035,016,678
Eswatini54.6201654.620161,184,817
Mozambique54201454201433,089,461
Brazil53.4201953.92018215,353,593
Botswana53.3201553.320152,441,162
Belize53.31999412,190
Colombia51.3201950.4201851,512,762
Angola51.3201851.3201835,027,343
Saint Lucia51.2201651.22016185,113
Guinea Bissau50.7201050.720102,063,367
Zimbabwe50.3201944.3201715,331,428
Panama49.8201949.220184,446,964
Republic of the Congo48.9201148.920115,797,805
Guatemala48.3201448.3201418,584,039
Honduras48.2201952.1201810,221,247
Costa Rica48.220194820185,182,354
Benin47.8201547.8201512,784,726
Cameroon46.6201446.5201427,911,548
Nicaragua46.2201446.220146,779,100
Ecuador45.7201945.4201818,113,361
Paraguay45.7201946.220187,305,843
Jamaica45.520043520162,985,094
Mexico45.4201836.82018131,562,772
Comoros45.3201445.32014907,419
Guyana45.1199844.62007794,045
Lesotho44.9201744.920172,175,699
Venezuela44.8200639201129,266,991
Malawi44.7201644.7201620,180,839
Chile44.4201744.4201719,250,195
South Sudan44.1201646201011,618,511
Rwanda43.7201643.7201613,600,464
Ghana43.5201643.5201632,395,450
Chad43.3201143.3201117,413,580
Togo43.1201543.120158,680,837
Argentina42.9201941.4201846,010,234
Uganda42.8201642.8201648,432,863
Madagascar42.6201242.6201229,178,077
Philippines42.3201844.42015112,508,994
DR Congo42.1201242.1201295,240,792
Iran42201840.8201786,022,837
Turkey41.9201941.9201885,561,976
Dominican Republic41.9201943.7201811,056,370
Papua New Guinea41.9200950.919969,292,169
Bolivia41.6201942.2201811,992,656
Djibouti41.6201741.620171,016,097
Peru41.5201942.8201833,684,208
Ivory Coast41.5201527,742,298
United States41.4201841.12016334,805,269
Bulgaria41.3201840.420176,844,597
Malaysia41.1201541201533,181,072
Haiti41.1201241.1201211,680,283
Kenya40.8201540.8201556,215,221
Turkmenistan40.8199840.819986,201,943
Tanzania40.5201740.5201763,298,550
Senegal40.3201140.3201117,653,671
Trinidad And Tobago40.319921,406,585
Micronesia40.1201340.12013117,489
Uruguay39.7201939.720183,496,016
Morocco39.5201339.5201337,772,756
Sri Lanka39.3201639.8201621,575,842
Tuvalu39.1201039.1201012,066
Israel3920163720188,922,892
Laos38.8201836.420127,481,023
El Salvador38.8201938.620186,550,389
Samoa38.7201338.72013202,239
Burundi38.6201338.6201312,624,840
China38.5201638.520161,448,471,400
Montenegro38.52016392015627,950
Indonesia38.2201937.82018279,134,505
Gabon3820173820172,331,533
Vanuatu37.6201037.62010321,832
Tonga37.6201537.62015107,749
Russia37.5201837.52018145,805,947
Bhutan37.4201737.42017787,941
Solomon Islands37.1201237.12013721,159
Kiribati372006123,419
Somalia36.8201716,841,795
Mauritius36.8201736.820171,274,727
Yemen36.7201436.7201431,154,867
Fiji36.7201336.72013909,466
Serbia36.2201736.220178,653,016
Italy35.9201735.9201760,262,770
Georgia35.9201936.420183,968,738
Gambia35.9201535.920152,558,482
Romania35.8201836201719,031,335
India35.7201135.720111,406,631,776
Vietnam35.7201835.7201898,953,541
Sierra Leone35.7201835.720188,306,436
Lithuania35.7201837.320172,661,708
Luxembourg35.4201834.92017642,371
Uzbekistan35.3200336.8200334,382,084
Burkina Faso35.3201435.3201422,102,838
Liberia35.3201635.320165,305,117
Nigeria35.1201835.12018216,746,934
United Kingdom35.1201734.8201668,497,907
Latvia35.1201835.620171,848,837
Ethiopia352015352015120,812,698
Thailand34.9201936.4201870,078,203
Nauru34.8201210,903
Spain34.7201834.7201746,719,142
Australia34.4201434.4201426,068,792
Niger34.3201434.3201426,083,660
Sudan34.2201434.2201445,992,020
Tajikistan3420153420159,957,464
Guinea33.7201233.7201213,865,691
Jordan33.7201033.7201010,300,869
Palestine33.720165,345,541
Portugal33.5201833.8201710,140,570
Canada33.3201733.3201738,388,419
Albania33.2201733.220172,866,374
Switzerland33.1201832.720178,773,637
Mali33200940.1200121,473,764
Bosnia And Herzegovina3320113320113,249,317
North Macedonia3320182,081,304
Japan32.9201332.92013125,584,838
Greece32.9201834.4201710,316,637
Nepal32.8201032.8201030,225,582
Tunisia32.8201532.8201512,046,656
Mongolia32.7201832.720183,378,078
Cyprus32.7201831.420171,223,387
Mauritania32.6201432.620144,901,981
Bangladesh32.4201632.42016167,885,689
France32.4201831.6201765,584,518
Seychelles32.1201846.8201399,426
Germany31.9201631.9201683,883,596
Lebanon31.8201131.820116,684,849
Pakistan31.6201833.52015229,488,994
Egypt31.5201731.52017106,156,692
South Korea31.4201635.4201551,329,899
Ireland31.4201732.820165,020,199
Maldives31.3201631.32016540,985
Austria30.8201829.720179,066,710
Myanmar30.7201755,227,143
Estonia30.3201830.420171,321,910
Poland30.2201829.7201737,739,785
Sweden30201828.8201710,218,971
Armenia29.9201934.420182,971,966
Kyrgyzstan29.7201927.720186,728,271
Croatia29.7201830.420174,059,286
Hungary29.6201830.620179,606,259
Iraq29.5201229.5201242,164,965
Timor Leste28.7201428.720141,369,429
Malta28.7201829.22017444,033
Denmark28.2201828.720175,834,950
Netherlands28.1201828.5201717,211,447
Kazakhstan27.8201827.5201719,205,043
Algeria27.6201127.6201145,350,148
Norway27.620182720175,511,370
Finland27.3201827.420175,554,960
Belgium27.2201827.4201711,668,278
Ukraine26.6201926.1201843,192,122
Azerbaijan26.6200533.7200810,300,205
Iceland26.1201726.82015345,393
United Arab Emirates26201832.5201410,081,785
Moldova25.7201825.720184,013,171
Belarus25.3201925.220189,432,800
Czech Republic25201810,736,784
Slovenia24.6201824.220172,078,034
Afghanistan29.4200840,754,388
Saudi Arabia45.9201335,844,909
Taiwan33.6201423,888,595
Cambodia37.9200817,168,639
Hong Kong53.920167,604,299
Singapore45.920175,943,546
Slovakia25.220165,460,193
New Zealand36.219974,898,203
Qatar41.120072,979,915
Macau352013667,490
Greenland33.9201556,973
Faroe Islands22.7201349,233
Falkland Islands3620153,539

Gini Coefficient by Country 2022

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