Income Inequality By Country 2021

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The gap between the richest and the poorest has never been wider. In many countries, income inequality has increased as poverty also increases.

Income inequality has both economic and political impacts on a nation. These include political polarization, negative attitudes towards the wealthy, slower GDP growth, reduced income mobility, higher poverty rates, and greater household debt.

The Gini Coefficient

The Gini coefficient or Gini index is a statistical measure of distribution representing the income or wealth of a country's residents. Developed by Italian statistician Corrado Gini in 1912, the Gini coefficient is the most commonly used measure of inequality.

The Gini coefficient measures the distribution of incomes across income percentiles. The 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.

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.

It is important to note that while the Gini coefficient is a useful tool for analyzing wealth or income distribution, it is not an absolute measurement of a country's wealth. For example, high-income and low-income countries can have the same Gini coefficient. Additionally, the Gini coefficient may be inaccurate and overstate income inequality due to limitations such as a lack of reliable and up-to-date GDP and income information.

According to the most recent data, the following countries have the highest levels of income inequality:

  1. South Africa 62.7
  2. Namibia - 59.2
  3. Zambia - 58.1
  4. Mozambique - 53.9
  5. Botswana - 53.4
  6. Brazil - 53.1
  7. Angola - 51.3
  8. Colombia - 51
  9. Zimbabwe - 50.3
  10. Panama - 49.7

On the opposite end, the following countries have the least income inequality:

  1. Azerbaijan - 22.5
  2. Slovenia - 24.4
  3. Slovakia - 24.8
  4. Moldova - 24.8
  5. Czechia - 24.8
  6. Belarus - 25.1
  7. United Arab Emirates - 26
  8. Iceland - 26.4
  9. Urkaine - 26.7
  10. Belgium - 27.2

The United States’ Gini coefficient is .484, the highest it’s been in 50 years according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. 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. About 33 million U.S. workers earn less than $10 per hour, placing a family of four below the poverty line.

Income Inequality By Country 2021

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Income Inequality By Country 2021

Country Net Gini Wealth Gini Median Income (Daily) Poverty Rate
South Africa0.5770.867$4.7035.90%
Namibia0.5500.910$3.5047.00%
Sri Lanka0.5140.665$5.5016.10%
China0.5100.789$7.7012.10%
Zambia0.4950.810$1.6074.30%
Lesotho0.4930.798$1.5078.00%
Colombia0.4890.742$913.10%
Honduras0.4830.000$4.8034.80%
India0.4790.830$2.9060.40%
Philippines0.4790.839$533.70%
Egypt0.4700.917$4.9016.10%
Panama0.4610.763$14.507.00%
Mexico0.4590.732$6.9011.80%
Chile0.4590.786$14.203.10%
Indonesia0.4570.837$4.6033.80%
Costa Rica0.4570.694$14.504.20%
Peru0.4540.778$10.309.30%
Brazil0.4490.832$11.209.30%
Paraguay0.4490.752$11.707.40%
Tajikistan0.4470.535$5.3020.00%
Dominican Republic0.4460.000$9.806.90%
Guatemala0.4450.000$5.6025.30%
Rwanda0.4430.730$1.6081.50%
Russia0.4390.826$17.100.30%
Thailand0.4370.851$11.201.10%
Bolivia0.4350.742$9.3012.90%
Nicaragua0.4320.719$7.4013.80%
Malaysia0.4280.820$14.103.10%
Vietnam0.4220.745$6.8011.60%
Tanzania0.4220.552$1.9079.00%
Kenya0.4160.772-0.00%
Laos0.4110.849$2.9058.50%
Georgia0.4050.668$5.1025.30%
Jordan0.4000.761$8.702.10%
Mozambique0.3990.711$1.4088.50%
Turkey0.3980.818$13.102.40%
Cameroon0.3980.741$3.6045.00%
Zimbabwe0.3980.730$3.4047.20%
Singapore0.3980.733-0.00%
Bangladesh0.3950.579$2.9059.20%
Nepal0.3950.673$3.2050.90%
Nigeria0.3900.695$1.8077.60%
El Salvador0.3890.657$7.609.80%
Iran0.3880.673$12.502.50%
Argentina0.3860.723$14.604.50%
Albania0.3860.448$6.507.70%
Ghana0.3830.661$4.4034.90%
Chad0.3830.693$2.4066.50%
United States0.3780.859$48.9016.80%
Mongolia0.3780.570$8.903.20%
Uganda0.3760.686$2.5066.60%
Malawi0.3730.737$1.3088.40%
Madagascar0.3720.671$1.1091.10%
Uruguay0.3700.639$19.501.40%
Israel0.3690.742$25.8019.50%
Cambodia0.3660.700-0.00%
Latvia0.3630.536$25.200.90%
Pakistan0.3620.526$3.7039.70%
Armenia0.3600.583$5.7013.50%
Morocco0.3570.814-0.00%
Senegal0.3480.698$2.4067.50%
Portugal0.3480.709$21.2013.50%
Estonia0.3470.564$22.1012.50%
Spain0.3430.657$30.7015.30%
Lithuania0.3420.516$18.202.70%
Kyrgyzstan0.3410.629$4.4023.30%
Serbia0.3400.542$11.301.40%
Bulgaria0.3390.529$15.303.80%
Moldova0.3370.479$8.501.40%
Italy0.3330.660$34.3013.70%
Tunisia0.3330.691$7.709.10%
Australia0.3320.652$44.4012.80%
Greece0.3320.677$18.4014.80%
Romania0.3300.623$8.704.50%
United Kingdom0.3280.735$39.4010.90%
New Zealand0.3250.723$18.4010.90%
Mali0.3230.645$279.00%
Algeria0.3220.758$7.203.90%
Poland0.3210.717$20.500.30%
Sierra Leone0.3200.587$1.9081.30%
Burundi0.3160.563$1.3090.10%
Canada0.3120.735$49.2012.60%
South Korea0.3070.700$34.2013.80%
Ireland0.3030.813$389.20%
Mauritania0.3030.623$4.9023.60%
Japan0.2990.609$34.8016.10%
France0.2990.702$44.708.20%
Switzerland0.2930.694$55.607.80%
Croatia0.2930.498$15.901.90%
Germany0.2900.791$45.309.50%
Kazakhstan0.2880.926$9.800.40%
Hungary0.2870.453$18.201.00%
Azerbaijan0.2860.510$8.502.70%
Luxembourg0.2840.681$61.808.10%
Austria0.2780.788$49.209.00%
Netherlands0.2660.730$43.307.90%
Ukraine0.2630.901$10.200.50%
Slovakia0.2610.463$8.708.70%
Belgium0.2590.630$43.809.10%
Slovenia0.2590.551$30.909.40%
Sweden0.2570.834$48.308.00%
Czech Republic0.2560.648$24.305.90%
Finland0.2560.767$43.506.30%
Denmark0.2530.809$44.705.50%
Norway0.2490.805$63.808.10%
Iceland0.2440.467$43.406.50%

Income Inequality By Country 2021