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 half 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.

Country Gini Index Population 2020
Lesotho63.22,142,249
South Africa62.559,308,690
Micronesia61.1115,023
Haiti60.811,402,528
Botswana60.52,351,627
Namibia59.72,540,905
Zambia57.518,383,955
Comoros55.9869,601
Hong Kong53.97,496,981
Guatemala5317,915,568
Paraguay51.77,132,538
Colombia51.150,882,891
Papua New Guinea50.98,947,024
Panama50.74,314,767
Chile50.519,116,201
Rwanda50.412,952,218
Gambia50.22,416,668
Brazil49212,559,417
Republic Of The Congo48.95,518,087
Nigeria48.8206,139,589
Costa Rica48.55,094,118
Kenya48.553,771,296
Mexico48.2128,932,753
Nicaragua47.16,624,554
Honduras47.19,904,607
Dominican Republic47.110,847,910
Bolivia4711,673,021
China46.51,439,323,776
Malaysia46.232,365,999
Malawi46.119,129,952
Togo468,278,724
South Sudan4611,193,725
Singapore45.95,850,342
Ecuador45.917,643,054
Saudi Arabia45.934,813,871
Mozambique45.631,255,435
Peru45.332,971,854
United States45331,002,651
Guyana44.6786,552
Cameroon44.626,545,863
Thailand44.569,799,978
Iran44.583,992,949
Philippines44.4109,581,078
Central African Republic43.64,829,767
Chad43.316,425,864
Zimbabwe43.214,862,924
Israel42.88,655,535
Angola42.732,866,272
Burundi42.411,890,784
Ghana42.331,072,940
Gabon42.22,225,734
Dr Congo42.189,561,403
Argentina41.745,195,774
Uruguay41.63,473,730
Ivory Coast41.526,378,274
Russia41.2145,934,462
Madagascar4127,691,018
Djibouti40.9988,000
Morocco40.936,910,560
Turkmenistan40.86,031,200
Senegal40.316,743,927
Bulgaria40.26,948,445
Turkey40.284,339,067
Georgia40.13,989,167
Mali40.120,250,833
Tunisia4011,818,619
Jordan39.710,203,134
Burkina Faso39.520,903,273
Uganda39.545,741,007
Guinea39.413,132,795
Sri Lanka39.221,413,249
Venezuela3928,435,940
Bhutan38.8771,608
Serbia38.78,737,371
Maldives38.4540,544
Lithuania37.92,722,289
Cambodia37.916,718,965
Yemen37.929,825,964
Japan37.9126,476,461
Tanzania37.659,734,218
Mauritania374,649,658
Uzbekistan36.833,469,203
Indonesia36.8273,523,615
Laos36.77,275,560
Greece36.710,423,054
Benin36.512,123,200
New Zealand36.24,822,233
Falkland Islands363,480
El Salvador366,486,205
Mauritius35.91,271,768
Spain35.946,754,778
South Korea35.751,269,185
Algeria35.343,851,044
India35.21,380,004,385
Macau35649,335
Jamaica352,961,167
Cyprus34.81,207,359
Estonia34.81,326,535
Vietnam34.897,338,579
Latvia34.51,886,198
Mongolia343,278,290
Sierra Leone347,976,983
Niger3424,206,644
Greenland33.956,770
Portugal33.910,196,709
Bosnia And Herzegovina33.83,280,819
Macedonia33.72,083,374
Azerbaijan33.710,139,177
Taiwan33.623,816,775
Kyrgyzstan33.46,524,195
Ethiopia33114,963,588
Nepal32.829,136,808
Tajikistan32.69,537,645
United Kingdom32.467,886,011
Canada32.137,742,154
Bangladesh32.1164,689,383
Liberia325,057,681
Montenegro31.9628,066
Timor Leste31.91,318,445
Italy31.960,461,826
Egypt31.8102,334,404
Armenia31.52,963,243
Ireland31.34,937,786
Sao Tome And Principe30.8219,159
Croatia30.84,105,267
Poland30.837,846,611
Pakistan30.7220,892,340
Austria30.59,006,398
Luxembourg30.4625,978
Netherlands30.317,134,872
Australia30.325,499,884
Switzerland29.58,654,622
France29.365,273,511
Albania292,877,797
Denmark295,792,202
Hungary28.29,660,351
Malta28.1441,543
Iceland28341,243
Romania27.319,237,691
Finland27.25,540,720
Germany2783,783,942
Moldova26.84,033,963
Norway26.85,421,241
Belarus26.59,449,323
Kazakhstan26.318,776,707
Belgium25.911,589,623
Ukraine25.543,733,762
Czech Republic2510,708,981
Sweden24.910,099,265
Slovenia24.42,078,938
Slovakia23.75,459,642
Faroe Islands22.748,863