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Gini Coefficient - World Bank

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# Gini Coefficient by Country 2023

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.

Country
Gini Coefficient - World Bank
Data Year (World Bank)
Gini Coefficient - CIA World Factbook
Data Year (CIA)
South Africa632014632014
Namibia59.1201559.12015
Suriname57.91999
Zambia57.1201557.12015
Sao Tome and Principe56.3201756.32017
Central African Republic56.2200843.62003
Eswatini54.6201654.62016
Mozambique542014542014
Brazil53.4201953.92018
Botswana53.3201553.32015
Belize53.31999
Colombia51.3201950.42018
Angola51.3201851.32018
Saint Lucia51.2201651.22016
Guinea Bissau50.7201050.72010
Zimbabwe50.3201944.32017
Panama49.8201949.22018
Republic of the Congo48.9201148.92011
Guatemala48.3201448.32014
Honduras48.2201952.12018
Costa Rica48.22019482018
Benin47.8201547.82015
Cameroon46.6201446.52014
Nicaragua46.2201446.22014
Paraguay45.7201946.22018
Jamaica45.52004352016
Mexico45.4201836.82018
Comoros45.3201445.32014
Guyana45.1199844.62007
Lesotho44.9201744.92017
Venezuela44.82006392011
Malawi44.7201644.72016
Chile44.4201744.42017
South Sudan44.12016462010
Rwanda43.7201643.72016
Ghana43.5201643.52016
Togo43.1201543.12015
Argentina42.9201941.42018
Uganda42.8201642.82016
Philippines42.3201844.42015
DR Congo42.1201242.12012
Iran42201840.82017
Turkey41.9201941.92018
Dominican Republic41.9201943.72018
Papua New Guinea41.9200950.91996
Bolivia41.6201942.22018
Djibouti41.6201741.62017
Peru41.5201942.82018
Ivory Coast41.52015
United States41.4201841.12016
Bulgaria41.3201840.42017
Malaysia41.12015412015
Haiti41.1201241.12012
Kenya40.8201540.82015
Turkmenistan40.8199840.81998
Tanzania40.5201740.52017
Senegal40.3201140.32011
Micronesia40.1201340.12013
Uruguay39.7201939.72018
Morocco39.5201339.52013
Sri Lanka39.3201639.82016
Tuvalu39.1201039.12010
Israel392016372018
Laos38.8201836.42012
Samoa38.7201338.72013
Burundi38.6201338.62013
China38.5201638.52016
Montenegro38.52016392015
Indonesia38.2201937.82018
Gabon382017382017
Vanuatu37.6201037.62010
Tonga37.6201537.62015
Russia37.5201837.52018
Bhutan37.4201737.42017
Solomon Islands37.1201237.12013
Kiribati372006
Somalia36.82017
Mauritius36.8201736.82017
Yemen36.7201436.72014
Fiji36.7201336.72013
Serbia36.2201736.22017
Italy35.9201735.92017
Georgia35.9201936.42018
Gambia35.9201535.92015
Romania35.82018362017
India35.7201135.72011
Vietnam35.7201835.72018
Sierra Leone35.7201835.72018
Lithuania35.7201837.32017
Luxembourg35.4201834.92017
Uzbekistan35.3200336.82003
Burkina Faso35.3201435.32014
Liberia35.3201635.32016
Nigeria35.1201835.12018
United Kingdom35.1201734.82016
Latvia35.1201835.62017
Ethiopia352015352015
Thailand34.9201936.42018
Nauru34.82012
Spain34.7201834.72017
Australia34.4201434.42014
Niger34.3201434.32014
Sudan34.2201434.22014
Tajikistan342015342015
Guinea33.7201233.72012
Jordan33.7201033.72010
Palestine33.72016
Portugal33.5201833.82017
Albania33.2201733.22017
Switzerland33.1201832.72017
Mali33200940.12001
Bosnia and Herzegovina332011332011
North Macedonia332018
Japan32.9201332.92013
Greece32.9201834.42017
Nepal32.8201032.82010
Tunisia32.8201532.82015
Mongolia32.7201832.72018
Cyprus32.7201831.42017
Mauritania32.6201432.62014
France32.4201831.62017
Seychelles32.1201846.82013
Germany31.9201631.92016
Lebanon31.8201131.82011
Pakistan31.6201833.52015
Egypt31.5201731.52017
South Korea31.4201635.42015
Ireland31.4201732.82016
Maldives31.3201631.32016
Austria30.8201829.72017
Myanmar30.72017
Estonia30.3201830.42017
Poland30.2201829.72017
Sweden30201828.82017
Armenia29.9201934.42018
Kyrgyzstan29.7201927.72018
Croatia29.7201830.42017
Hungary29.6201830.62017
Iraq29.5201229.52012
Timor Leste28.7201428.72014
Malta28.7201829.22017
Denmark28.2201828.72017
Netherlands28.1201828.52017
Kazakhstan27.8201827.52017
Algeria27.6201127.62011
Norway27.62018272017
Finland27.3201827.42017
Belgium27.2201827.42017
Ukraine26.6201926.12018
Azerbaijan26.6200533.72008
Iceland26.1201726.82015
United Arab Emirates26201832.52014
Moldova25.7201825.72018
Belarus25.3201925.22018
Czech Republic252018
Slovenia24.6201824.22017
Afghanistan29.42008
Saudi Arabia45.92013
Taiwan33.62014
Cambodia37.92008
Hong Kong53.92016
Singapore45.92017
Slovakia25.22016
New Zealand36.21997
Qatar41.12007
Macau352013
Jersey0.32014
Greenland33.92015
Faroe Islands22.72013
Falkland Islands362015
showing: 177 rows

### Which country has the highest Gini coefficient in the world?

A high Gini coefficient reflects a large gap between a country's richest and poorest citizens. South Africa has the world's highest Gini coefficient, 63%.

### Which country has the lowest Gini coefficient in the world?

Low Gini coefficients indicate a smaller space between wealth extremes in a country. Slovenia has a Gini ratio of 24.6 as of 2018, making it the world's smallest.