Income Inequality by Country 2022

map placeholder

The income gap between the nation's richest and the poorest citizens is typically referred to as income inequality—and in many countries, it has never been wider. Just as the overall incomes of the world's richest and poorest countries can offer broad hints about the level of development in those countries, the level of income inequality in a given country can help indicate the quality of life for its average citizen. Income inequality impacts a nation both economically and politically, with effects that include political polarization, negative attitudes towards the wealthy, slower GDP growth, reduced income mobility, higher poverty rates, and greater household debt. On the other hand, extremely income inequality that is extremely low can sometimes indicate a lack of economic growth.

The Gini Coefficient

The Gini coefficient, or Gini index, is a statistical measure of income inequality developed by Italian statistician Corrado Gini in 1912. The Gini coefficient ranges from 0 (0%) to 1 (100%), with 0 representing perfect equality and 1 representing perfect inequality. For example, in a country where everyone has the same income, the Gini coefficient would be 0. However, if a single resident earned all of the income while everyone else earned nothing, the coefficient would be 1.

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Income Inequality (Gini %):

  1. Slovakia — 23.2
  2. Slovenia — 24.4
  3. Belarus — 24.4
  4. Armenia — 25.2
  5. Czech Republic — 25.3
  6. Ukraine — 25.6
  7. United Arab Emirates — 26.0
  8. Moldova — 26.0
  9. Iceland — 26.1
  10. Azerbaijan — 26.6

10 Countries with the Highest Income Inequality (Gini %):

  1. South Africa — 63.0
  2. Namibia — 59.1
  3. Suriname — 57.9
  4. Zambia — 57.1
  5. Sao Tome and Principe — 56.3
  6. Central African Republic — 56.2
  7. Eswatini — 54.6
  8. Colombia — 54.2
  9. Mozambique — 54.0
  10. Botswana — 53.3

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. Countries with high or low Gini scores often have economies that are either top-heavy, with too much money controlled by a wealthy elite; or stunted, with too little economic growth and development.

Limitations of the Gini coefficient

While the Gini coefficient is a useful tool for analyzing the distribution of wealth or income within a country, it is not a measurement of that country's overall wealth or economic well-being. For example, the Gini coefficient in highly developed, high-income countries is often higher—indicating less income equality—than the Gini coefficient in least-developed or low-income countries. Finally, the Gini coefficient can be compromised by imprecise or inadequate information. If reliable and up-to-date GDP and income data are lacking, the Gini coefficient may be inaccurate and overstate income inequality.

Income inequality in the United States

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States’ Gini coefficient was 48.9% in 2020. This ranks as the country's highest Gini in at least the past 50 years—although the 2021 data, when available, will likely eclipse it. Note that this value is higher than the World Bank estimate shown further down this page, which is computed using a slightly different algorithim.

The U.S. also has the highest Gini coefficient among the G7 nations. The top 1% of earners in the United States earn about 40 times more than the bottom 90% of earners, and roughly 33 million U.S. workers earn less than $10 per hour, placing a family of four below the poverty line.

Income inequality in OECD countries

Country Average Income (PPP €)
Bottom 50% Top 10% Top 1%
United States 14,500 246,800 1,018,700
Israel 11,200 211,900 713,500
Chile 4,500 130,200 585,100
Canada 11,900 156,000 566,900
Turkey 6,500 149,400 516,700
Australia 12,900 134,200 513,300
Germany 15,200 148,000 509,800
South Korea 10,600 153,200 485,200
Russia 7,700 104,600 483,200
Sweden 21,500 139,200 476,900
Mexico 3,200 99,400 452,900
United Kingdom 13,300 116,700 413,900
Japan 10,200 137,000 400,000
Poland 10,400 100,400 395,800
Spain 12,900 105,500 378,800
Brazil 2,800 81,900 372,000
France 16,500 116,900 357,000
Argentina 5,600 73,500 300,800
South Africa 1,300 82,500 272,000
Italy 12,100 93,900 253,700
China 5,100 73,400 246,600
Indonesia 2,900 56,100 213,400
India 2,000 42,500 161,600
Morocco 2,100 38,700 118,500
Algeria 4,424 44,287 115,253
Nigeria 2,400 32,700 88,600

Income Inequality by Country 2022

Country Gini % - World Bank Gini % - CIA World Factbook
China38.2 (2019)38.5 (2016)
India35.7 (2011)35.7 (2011)
United States41.5 (2019)41.1 (2016)
Indonesia37.3 (2021)37.8 (2018)
Pakistan29.6 (2018)33.5 (2015)
Nigeria35.1 (2018)35.1 (2018)
Brazil48.9 (2020)53.9 (2018)
Bangladesh32.4 (2016)32.4 (2016)
Russia37.5 (2018)37.5 (2018)
Mexico45.4 (2020)36.8 (2018)
Japan32.9 (2013)32.9 (2013)
Ethiopia35.0 (2015)35.0 (2015)
Philippines42.3 (2018)44.4 (2015)
Egypt31.5 (2017)31.5 (2017)
Vietnam35.7 (2018)35.7 (2018)
DR Congo42.1 (2012)42.1 (2012)
Iran40.9 (2019)40.8 (2017)
Turkey41.9 (2019)41.9 (2019)
Germany31.7 (2018)31.9 (2016)
Thailand35.0 (2020)36.4 (2018)
United Kingdom35.1 (2017)34.8 (2016)
France32.4 (2018)31.6 (2017)
Tanzania40.5 (2018)40.5 (2017)
South Africa63.0 (2014)63.0 (2014)
Italy35.2 (2018)35.9 (2017)
Kenya40.8 (2015)40.8 (2015)
Myanmar30.7 (2017)30.7 (2017)
Colombia54.2 (2020)50.4 (2018)
South Korea31.4 (2016)35.4 (2015)
Uganda42.7 (2019)42.8 (2016)
Spain34.3 (2019)34.7 (2017)
Argentina42.3 (2020)41.4 (2018)
Sudan34.2 (2014)34.2 (2014)
Algeria27.6 (2011)27.6 (2011)
Ukraine25.6 (2020)26.1 (2018)
Iraq29.5 (2012)29.5 (2012)
Afghanistan29.4 (2008)
Canada33.3 (2017)33.3 (2017)
Morocco39.5 (2013)39.5 (2013)
Poland30.2 (2018)29.7 (2017)
Saudi Arabia45.9 (2013)
Angola51.3 (2018)51.3 (2018)
Uzbekistan35.3 (2003)36.8 (2003)
Peru43.8 (2020)42.8 (2018)
Malaysia41.1 (2015)41.0 (2015)
Mozambique54.0 (2014)54.0 (2014)
Ghana43.5 (2016)43.5 (2016)
Yemen36.7 (2014)36.7 (2014)
Nepal32.8 (2010)32.8 (2010)
Venezuela44.8 (2006)39.0 (2011)
Madagascar42.6 (2012)42.6 (2012)
Cameroon46.6 (2014)46.5 (2014)
Ivory Coast37.2 (2018)
Niger37.3 (2018)34.3 (2014)
Australia34.3 (2018)34.4 (2014)
Taiwan33.6 (2014)
Burkina Faso47.3 (2018)35.3 (2014)
Sri Lanka39.3 (2016)39.8 (2016)
Mali36.1 (2018)40.1 (2001)
Malawi38.5 (2019)44.7 (2016)
Zambia57.1 (2015)57.1 (2015)
Syria37.5 (2003)
Chile44.9 (2020)44.4 (2017)
Kazakhstan27.8 (2018)27.5 (2017)
Romania34.8 (2019)36.0 (2017)
Guatemala48.3 (2014)48.3 (2014)
Ecuador47.3 (2020)45.4 (2018)
Senegal38.1 (2018)40.3 (2011)
Chad37.5 (2018)43.3 (2011)
Netherlands29.2 (2019)28.5 (2017)
Cambodia37.9 (2008)
Somalia36.8 (2017)
Zimbabwe50.3 (2019)44.3 (2017)
Guinea29.6 (2018)33.7 (2012)
Rwanda43.7 (2016)43.7 (2016)
Benin37.8 (2018)47.8 (2015)
Burundi38.6 (2013)38.6 (2013)
Tunisia32.8 (2015)32.8 (2015)
Bolivia43.6 (2020)42.2 (2018)
Haiti41.1 (2012)41.1 (2012)
Belgium27.2 (2019)27.4 (2017)
South Sudan44.1 (2016)46.0 (2010)
Dominican Republic39.6 (2020)43.7 (2018)
Czech Republic25.3 (2019)24.9 (2017)
Greece33.1 (2019)34.4 (2017)
Jordan33.7 (2010)33.7 (2010)
Azerbaijan26.6 (2005)33.7 (2008)
Honduras48.2 (2019)52.1 (2018)
Sweden29.3 (2019)28.8 (2017)
Portugal33.5 (2018)33.8 (2017)
United Arab Emirates26.0 (2018)32.5 (2014)
Tajikistan34.0 (2015)34.0 (2015)
Hungary30.0 (2019)30.6 (2017)
Belarus24.4 (2020)25.2 (2018)
Papua New Guinea41.9 (2009)50.9 (1996)
Austria30.2 (2019)29.7 (2017)
Israel38.6 (2018)37.0 (2018)
Switzerland33.1 (2018)32.7 (2017)
Togo42.4 (2018)43.1 (2015)
Serbia34.5 (2019)36.2 (2017)
Sierra Leone35.7 (2018)35.7 (2018)
Hong Kong53.9 (2016)
Laos38.8 (2018)36.4 (2012)
Paraguay43.5 (2020)46.2 (2018)
Bulgaria40.3 (2019)40.4 (2017)
Nicaragua46.2 (2014)46.2 (2014)
Kyrgyzstan29.0 (2020)27.7 (2018)
Lebanon31.8 (2011)31.8 (2011)
El Salvador38.8 (2019)38.6 (2018)
Turkmenistan40.8 (1998)40.8 (1998)
Singapore45.9 (2017)
Denmark27.7 (2019)28.7 (2017)
Republic of the Congo48.9 (2011)48.9 (2011)
Finland27.7 (2019)27.4 (2017)
Norway27.7 (2019)27.0 (2017)
Slovakia23.2 (2019)25.2 (2016)
Palestine33.7 (2016)33.7 (2016)
Liberia35.3 (2016)35.3 (2016)
Costa Rica48.2 (2019)48.0 (2018)
Ireland30.6 (2018)32.8 (2016)
Central African Republic56.2 (2008)43.6 (2003)
Mauritania32.6 (2014)32.6 (2014)
New Zealand36.2 (1997)
Panama49.8 (2019)49.2 (2018)
Croatia28.9 (2019)30.4 (2017)
Moldova26.0 (2019)25.7 (2018)
Georgia34.5 (2020)36.4 (2018)
Uruguay40.2 (2020)39.7 (2018)
Mongolia32.7 (2018)32.7 (2018)
Bosnia And Herzegovina33.0 (2011)33.0 (2011)
Jamaica45.5 (2004)35.0 (2016)
Qatar41.1 (2007)
Armenia25.2 (2020)34.4 (2018)
Albania30.8 (2019)33.2 (2017)
Lithuania35.3 (2019)37.3 (2017)
Namibia59.1 (2015)59.1 (2015)
Gambia35.9 (2015)35.9 (2015)
Botswana53.3 (2015)53.3 (2015)
Gabon38.0 (2017)38.0 (2017)
Lesotho44.9 (2017)44.9 (2017)
North Macedonia33.0 (2018)
Slovenia24.4 (2019)24.2 (2017)
Latvia34.5 (2019)35.6 (2017)
Trinidad And Tobago40.3 (1992)
Timor Leste28.7 (2014)28.7 (2014)
Estonia30.8 (2019)30.4 (2017)
Mauritius36.8 (2017)36.8 (2017)
Cyprus31.2 (2019)31.4 (2017)
Eswatini54.6 (2016)54.6 (2016)
Djibouti41.6 (2017)41.6 (2017)
Fiji30.1 (2019)36.7 (2013)
Comoros45.3 (2014)45.3 (2014)
Guyana45.1 (1998)44.6 (2007)
Bhutan37.4 (2017)37.4 (2017)
Solomon Islands37.1 (2012)37.1 (2013)
Macau35.0 (2013)
Luxembourg34.2 (2019)34.9 (2017)
Montenegro36.8 (2018)39.0 (2015)
Suriname57.9 (1999)
Cape Verde42.4 (2015)
Maldives29.3 (2019)31.3 (2016)
Malta31.0 (2019)29.2 (2017)
Belize53.3 (1999)
Iceland26.1 (2017)26.8 (2015)
Vanuatu32.3 (2019)37.6 (2010)
Sao Tome And Principe56.3 (2017)56.3 (2017)
Samoa38.7 (2013)38.7 (2013)
Saint Lucia51.2 (2016)51.2 (2016)
Kiribati27.8 (2019)
Micronesia40.1 (2013)40.1 (2013)
Tonga37.6 (2015)37.6 (2015)
Seychelles32.1 (2018)46.8 (2013)
Greenland33.9 (2015)
Faroe Islands22.7 (2013)
Tuvalu39.1 (2010)39.1 (2010)
Nauru34.8 (2012)
Falkland Islands36.0 (2015)

Income Inequality by Country 2022

Sources