Gini Coefficient by Country 2021

map placeholder

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 2021

Loading...

Gini Coefficient by Country 2021

Country Gini % - World Bank Data Year (World Bank) Gini % - CIA World Factbook Data Year (CIA) 2021 Population
South Africa63201463201460,041,994
Namibia59.1201559.120152,587,344
Suriname57.91999591,800
Zambia57.1201557.1201518,920,651
Sao Tome And Principe56.3201756.32017223,368
Central African Republic56.2200843.620034,919,981
Eswatini54.6201654.620161,172,362
Mozambique54201454201432,163,047
Brazil53.4201953.92018213,993,437
Belize53.31999404,914
Botswana53.3201553.320152,397,241
Angola51.3201851.3201833,933,610
Colombia51.3201950.4201851,265,844
Saint Lucia51.2201651.22016184,400
Guinea Bissau50.7201050.720102,015,494
Zimbabwe50.3201944.3201715,092,171
Panama49.8201949.220184,381,579
Republic of the Congo48.9201148.920115,657,013
Guatemala48.3201448.3201418,249,860
Costa Rica48.220194820185,139,052
Honduras48.2201952.1201810,062,991
Benin47.8201547.8201512,451,040
Cameroon46.6201446.5201427,224,265
Nicaragua46.2201446.220146,702,385
Paraguay45.7201946.220187,219,638
Ecuador45.7201945.4201817,888,475
Jamaica45.520043520162,973,463
Mexico45.4201836.82018130,262,216
Comoros45.3201445.32014888,451
Guyana45.1199844.62007790,326
Lesotho44.9201744.920172,159,079
Venezuela44.8200639201128,704,954
Malawi44.7201644.7201619,647,684
Chile44.4201744.4201719,212,361
South Sudan44.1201646201011,381,378
Rwanda43.7201643.7201613,276,513
Ghana43.5201643.5201631,732,129
Chad43.3201143.3201116,914,985
Togo43.1201543.120158,478,250
Argentina42.9201941.4201845,605,826
Uganda42.8201642.8201647,123,531
Madagascar42.6201242.6201228,427,328
Philippines42.3201844.42015111,046,913
DR Congo42.1201242.1201292,377,993
Iran42201840.8201785,028,759
Papua New Guinea41.9200950.919969,119,010
Dominican Republic41.9201943.7201810,953,703
Turkey41.9201941.9201885,042,738
Djibouti41.6201741.620171,002,187
Bolivia41.6201942.2201811,832,940
Ivory Coast41.5201527,053,629
Peru41.5201942.8201833,359,418
United States41.4201841.12016332,915,073
Bulgaria41.3201840.420176,896,663
Haiti41.1201241.1201211,541,685
Malaysia41.1201541201532,776,194
Turkmenistan40.8199840.819986,117,924
Kenya40.8201540.8201554,985,698
Tanzania40.5201740.5201761,498,437
Trinidad And Tobago40.319921,403,375
Senegal40.3201140.3201117,196,301
Micronesia40.1201340.12013116,254
Uruguay39.7201939.720183,485,151
Morocco39.5201339.5201337,344,795
Sri Lanka39.3201639.8201621,497,310
Tuvalu39.1201039.1201011,931
Israel3920163720188,789,774
El Salvador38.8201938.620186,518,499
Laos38.8201836.420127,379,358
Samoa38.7201338.72013200,149
Burundi38.6201338.6201312,255,433
Montenegro38.52016392015628,053
China38.5201638.520161,444,216,107
Indonesia38.2201937.82018276,361,783
Gabon3820173820172,278,825
Tonga37.6201537.62015106,760
Vanuatu37.6201037.62010314,464
Russia37.5201837.52018145,912,025
Bhutan37.4201737.42017779,898
Solomon Islands37.1201237.12013703,996
Kiribati372006121,392
Mauritius36.8201736.820171,273,433
Somalia36.8201716,359,504
Fiji36.7201336.72013902,906
Yemen36.7201436.7201430,490,640
Serbia36.2201736.220178,697,550
Gambia35.9201535.920152,486,945
Georgia35.9201936.420183,979,765
Italy35.9201735.9201760,367,477
Romania35.8201836201719,127,774
Lithuania35.7201837.320172,689,862
Sierra Leone35.7201835.720188,141,343
Vietnam35.7201835.7201898,168,833
India35.7201135.720111,393,409,038
Luxembourg35.4201834.92017634,814
Liberia35.3201635.320165,180,203
Burkina Faso35.3201435.3201421,497,096
Uzbekistan35.3200336.8200333,935,763
Latvia35.1201835.620171,866,942
United Kingdom35.1201734.8201668,207,116
Nigeria35.1201835.12018211,400,708
Ethiopia352015352015117,876,227
Thailand34.9201936.4201869,950,850
Nauru34.8201210,876
Spain34.7201834.7201746,745,216
Australia34.4201434.4201425,788,215
Niger34.3201434.3201425,130,817
Sudan34.2201434.2201444,909,353
Tajikistan3420153420159,749,627
Palestine33.720165,222,748
Jordan33.7201033.7201010,269,021
Guinea33.7201233.7201213,497,244
Portugal33.5201833.8201710,167,925
Canada33.3201733.3201738,067,903
Albania33.2201733.220172,872,933
Switzerland33.1201832.720178,715,494
North Macedonia3320182,082,658
Bosnia And Herzegovina3320113320113,263,466
Mali33200940.1200120,855,735
Greece32.9201834.4201710,370,744
Japan32.9201332.92013126,050,804
Tunisia32.8201532.8201511,935,766
Nepal32.8201032.8201029,674,920
Cyprus32.7201831.420171,215,584
Mongolia32.7201832.720183,329,289
Mauritania32.6201432.620144,775,119
France32.4201831.6201765,426,179
Bangladesh32.4201632.42016166,303,498
Seychelles32.1201846.8201398,908
Germany31.9201631.9201683,900,473
Lebanon31.8201131.820116,769,146
Pakistan31.6201833.52015225,199,937
Egypt31.5201731.52017104,258,327
Ireland31.4201732.820164,982,907
South Korea31.4201635.4201551,305,186
Maldives31.3201631.32016543,617
Austria30.8201829.720179,043,070
Myanmar30.7201754,806,012
Estonia30.3201830.420171,325,185
Poland30.2201829.7201737,797,005
Sweden30201828.8201710,160,169
Armenia29.9201934.420182,968,127
Croatia29.7201830.420174,081,651
Kyrgyzstan29.7201927.720186,628,356
Hungary29.6201830.620179,634,164
Iraq29.5201229.5201241,179,350
Malta28.7201829.22017442,784
Timor Leste28.7201428.720141,343,873
Denmark28.2201828.720175,813,298
Netherlands28.1201828.5201717,173,099
Kazakhstan27.8201827.5201718,994,962
Norway27.620182720175,465,630
Algeria27.6201127.6201144,616,624
Finland27.3201827.420175,548,360
Belgium27.2201827.4201711,632,326
Azerbaijan26.6200533.7200810,223,342
Ukraine26.6201926.1201843,466,819
Iceland26.1201726.82015343,353
United Arab Emirates26201832.520149,991,089
Moldova25.7201825.720184,024,019
Belarus25.3201925.220189,442,862
Czech Republic25201810,724,555
Slovenia24.6201824.220172,078,724
Falkland Islands3620153,533
Faroe Islands22.7201349,049
Greenland33.9201556,877
Macau352013658,394
Qatar41.120072,930,528
New Zealand36.219974,860,643
Slovakia25.220165,460,721
Singapore45.920175,896,686
Hong Kong53.920167,552,810
Cambodia37.9200816,946,438
Taiwan33.6201423,855,010
Saudi Arabia45.9201335,340,683
Afghanistan29.4200839,835,428

Gini Coefficient by Country 2021