Wealth Inequality by Country 2022

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Wealth inequality, also known as the wealth gap, is a measure of the distribution of wealth—essentially the difference between the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor—in a given country, state, city, or demographic group. Wealth inequality is closely related to income inequality, which tracks the money people earn. However, wealth inequality includes not just income, but also the value of bank accounts, stocks and investments, homes, and personal possessions such as cars, jewelry, artwork, and other valuables. Wealth inequality is a major cause of unequal living standards in many communities.

Research suggests that globalization has reduced global wealth inequality between nations but has increased wealth inequality within nations. Typically, developing countries are characterized by greater inequality than developed countries. However, there are exceptions to this rule: in some developed countries, such as the United States and Russia, the Gini coefficient is generally high.

Wealth inequality and the Gini index

The Gini index, or Gini coefficient, is a statistical measure of wealth distribution developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini. The Gini index is used to gauge economic inequality by measuring income distribution, also called wealth distribution. The Gini coefficient ranges from 0 to 1. A coefficient of 0 represents perfect equality, a country (or other people group) in which everyone had the same income. The closer to 1 the coefficient is, the greater the wealth inequality. Gini coefficient is also expressed as a percentage in which 0% is perfect equality and 100% would be the maximum possible inequality.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Wealth Inequality (World Bank Gini index):

  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. Mozambique - 54.0%
  9. Brazil - 53.4%
  10. Botswana - 53.3%

South Africa’s income inequality has become worse over the years. The top 1% of earners take home almost 20% of income and the top 10% take home 65%. That means that 90% of South African earners take home only 35% of all income. Incomes in South African remain to be racialized, gendered, and spatialized, meaning that white people are more likely to find work (and work that pays better) than their black counterparts; female workers earn about 30% less than male workers; and urban workers earn about double that of those in the countryside.

For many countries in Africa, income inequality is rooted in their economic structures, in which a few high-income sectors generate significant wealth, but only for a small number of people, leaving the vast majority of the workforce trapped in lower-income sectors in which they earn far less in the lower-income sectors.

This inequality is often exacerbated by inadequate educational systems that fail to prepare all but the richest citizens for better-paying skilled jobs and by the presence of corrupt and/or oppressive governments. Additionally, while many countries in Eastern and Southern Africa enjoy a high concentration of resources (natural and human), many other African countries lack even basic resources such as arable land and clean water, which can hamper overall economic growth.

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Wealth Inequality (World Bank Gini index):

  1. Slovenia - 24.6%
  2. Czech Republic - 25.0%
  3. Slovakia - 25.0%
  4. Belarus - 25.3%
  5. Moldova - 25.7%
  6. United Arab Emirates - 26.0%
  7. Iceland - 26.1%
  8. Azerbaijan - 26.6%
  9. Ukraine - 26.6%
  10. Belgium - 27.2%

Nine of the top 10 countries are located in Europe or on the Europe/Asia border (Azerbaijan). The top 1% of earners in Europe take only 12% of the total income and the bottom 50% of earners take 22% of income. For comparison, in the United States, which has more billionaires than any other country, the top 1% of earners take 20% of income and the bottom 50% of earners take 10%. The less inequality/greater equality in Europe is attributed to the fact that Europe has not let its market economy become a market society, where market forces control other areas of society such as education, health, and wages. Examples of this are social healthcare systems and more favorable labor markets.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest wealth inequality:

  1. South Africa (63)
  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. Mozambique (54)
  9. Brazil (53.4)
  10. Botswana (53.3)

Wealth Inequality by Country 2022

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Wealth Inequality by Country 2022

Country Gini Index 2022 Population
South Africa6360,756,135
Namibia59.12,633,874
Suriname57.9596,831
Zambia57.119,470,234
Sao Tome And Principe56.3227,679
Central African Republic56.25,016,678
Eswatini54.61,184,817
Mozambique5433,089,461
Brazil53.4215,353,593
Belize53.3412,190
Botswana53.32,441,162
Angola51.335,027,343
Colombia51.351,512,762
Guinea Bissau50.72,063,367
Zimbabwe50.315,331,428
Panama49.84,446,964
Republic of the Congo48.95,797,805
Guatemala48.318,584,039
Costa Rica48.25,182,354
Honduras48.210,221,247
Benin47.812,784,726
Cameroon46.627,911,548
Nicaragua46.26,779,100
Paraguay45.77,305,843
Ecuador45.718,113,361
Jamaica45.52,985,094
Mexico45.4131,562,772
Comoros45.3907,419
Guyana45.1794,045
Lesotho44.92,175,699
Venezuela44.829,266,991
Malawi44.720,180,839
Chile44.419,250,195
South Sudan44.111,618,511
Rwanda43.713,600,464
Ghana43.532,395,450
Chad43.317,413,580
Togo43.18,680,837
Argentina42.946,010,234
Uganda42.848,432,863
Madagascar42.629,178,077
Philippines42.3112,508,994
DR Congo42.195,240,792
Iran4286,022,837
Papua New Guinea41.99,292,169
Dominican Republic41.911,056,370
Turkey41.985,561,976
Djibouti41.61,016,097
Bolivia41.611,992,656
Ivory Coast41.527,742,298
Peru41.533,684,208
United States41.4334,805,269
Bulgaria41.36,844,597
Haiti41.111,680,283
Malaysia41.133,181,072
Turkmenistan40.86,201,943
Kenya40.856,215,221
Tanzania40.563,298,550
Trinidad And Tobago40.31,406,585
Senegal40.317,653,671
Micronesia40.1117,489
Uruguay39.73,496,016
Morocco39.537,772,756
Sri Lanka39.321,575,842
Tuvalu39.112,066
Israel398,922,892
El Salvador38.86,550,389
Laos38.87,481,023
Samoa38.7202,239
Burundi38.612,624,840
Montenegro38.5627,950
China38.51,448,471,400
Indonesia38.2279,134,505
Gabon382,331,533
Tonga37.6107,749
Vanuatu37.6321,832
Syria37.519,364,809
Russia37.5145,805,947
Bhutan37.4787,941
Solomon Islands37.1721,159
Kiribati37123,419
Mauritius36.81,274,727
Somalia36.816,841,795
Fiji36.7909,466
Yemen36.731,154,867
Serbia36.28,653,016
Gambia35.92,558,482
Georgia35.93,968,738
Italy35.960,262,770
Romania35.819,031,335
Lithuania35.72,661,708
Sierra Leone35.78,306,436
Vietnam35.798,953,541
India35.71,406,631,776
Luxembourg35.4642,371
Liberia35.35,305,117
Burkina Faso35.322,102,838
Uzbekistan35.334,382,084
Latvia35.11,848,837
United Kingdom35.168,497,907
Nigeria35.1216,746,934
Ethiopia35120,812,698
Thailand34.970,078,203
Nauru34.810,903
Spain34.746,719,142
Australia34.426,068,792
Niger34.326,083,660
Sudan34.245,992,020
Tajikistan349,957,464
Palestine33.75,345,541
Jordan33.710,300,869
Guinea33.713,865,691
Portugal33.510,140,570
Canada33.338,388,419
Albania33.22,866,374
Switzerland33.18,773,637
North Macedonia332,081,304
Bosnia And Herzegovina333,249,317
Mali3321,473,764
Greece32.910,316,637
Japan32.9125,584,838
Tunisia32.812,046,656
Nepal32.830,225,582
Cyprus32.71,223,387
Mongolia32.73,378,078
Mauritania32.64,901,981
France32.465,584,518
Bangladesh32.4167,885,689
Seychelles32.199,426
Germany31.983,883,596
Lebanon31.86,684,849
Pakistan31.6229,488,994
Egypt31.5106,156,692
Ireland31.45,020,199
South Korea31.451,329,899
Maldives31.3540,985
Austria30.89,066,710
Myanmar30.755,227,143
Estonia30.31,321,910
Poland30.237,739,785
Sweden3010,218,971
Armenia29.92,971,966
Croatia29.74,059,286
Kyrgyzstan29.76,728,271
Hungary29.69,606,259
Iraq29.542,164,965
Malta28.7444,033
Timor Leste28.71,369,429
Denmark28.25,834,950
Netherlands28.117,211,447
Kazakhstan27.819,205,043
Norway27.65,511,370
Algeria27.645,350,148
Finland27.35,554,960
Belgium27.211,668,278
Azerbaijan26.610,300,205
Ukraine26.643,192,122
Iceland26.1345,393
United Arab Emirates2610,081,785
Moldova25.74,013,171
Belarus25.39,432,800
Czech Republic2510,736,784
Slovenia24.62,078,034

Wealth Inequality by Country 2022

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