Wealth Inequality by Country 2021

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Wealth inequality, also known as the wealth gap, is the unequal distribution of assets among residents of a country. Wealth inequality is evident between countries, states and different groups of people. Wealth includes the value of cars, homes, savings, investments, and personal valuables. Wealth inequality is a strong determinant of unequal living standards in a community.

Research suggests that globalization has reduced global inequality between nations but has increased inequality within nations. Typically, developing countries are characterized by greater inequality than in developed countries.

The Gini index, or Gini coefficient, is a statistical measure of distribution developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini. The Gini index is used to gauge economic inequality by measuring income distribution or wealth distribution. The coefficient ranges from 0 to 1, with 0 representing 0% and 1 representing 100%. A coefficient of 0 represents perfect equality, and a coefficient of 1 represents perfect inequality. The closer to 1 the coefficient is, the greater the inequality. If a country were to have a Gini coefficient of 0, that means that everyone would have the same income.

Based on the most recent Gini index estimates from the World Bank, the five most equal countries, in terms of wealth, are:

  1. Ukraine (.241)
  2. Slovenia (.256)
  3. Norway (.259)
  4. Slovak Republic (.261)
  5. Czech Republic (.261)

All of these top five countries are located in Europe. The top 1% of earners in Europe take 12% of income and the bottom 50% of earners take 22% of income. For comparison, in the United States, the top 1% of earners take 20% of income and the bottom 50% of earners take 10%. The less inequality 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.

Based on the most recent Gini index estimated from the World Bank, the five most unequal countries, in terms of wealth, are:

  1. South Africa (.634)
  2. Namibia (.610)
  3. Haiti (.608)
  4. Botswana (.605)
  5. Central African Republic (.562)

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.

In general, African countries’ income inequality is rooted in the dualistic economic structure, where high-income sectors offer limited capacity to generate employment compared to the lower-income sector, where most of the workforce earns far lower incomes. Additionally, there is a high concentration of capital (physical, human, and land) in Eastern and Southern Africa, while other regions lack resources.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest wealth inequality:

  1. Netherlands (0.902)
  2. Russia (0.879)
  3. Sweden (0.867)
  4. United States (0.852)
  5. Brazil (0.849)
  6. Thailand (0.846)
  7. Denmark (0.838)
  8. Philippines (0.837)
  9. Saudi Arabia (0.834)
  10. Indonesia (0.833)

Wealth Inequality by Country 2021

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Wealth Inequality by Country 2021

Country Gini Index Population 2021
Netherlands0.90217,173,099
Russia0.879145,912,025
Sweden0.86710,160,169
United States0.852332,915,073
Brazil0.849213,993,437
Thailand0.84669,950,850
Denmark0.8385,813,298
Philippines0.837111,046,913
Saudi Arabia0.83435,340,683
Indonesia0.833276,361,783
Suriname0.832591,800
India0.8321,393,409,038
Bahamas0.828396,913
Grenada0.827113,021
Dominica0.82372,167
Antigua And Barbuda0.82398,731
Lebanon0.8196,769,146
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines0.818111,263
Germany0.81683,900,473
Nigeria0.809211,400,708
South Africa0.80660,041,994
Lesotho0.8052,159,079
Belize0.803404,914
Cyprus0.8011,215,584
Haiti0.80111,541,685
Botswana0.82,397,241
Norway0.7985,465,630
Zambia0.79818,920,651
Chile0.79819,212,361
Yemen0.79830,490,640
Ireland0.7964,982,907
United Arab Emirates0.7969,991,089
Malaysia0.79632,776,194
Laos0.7947,379,358
Turkey0.79485,042,738
Equatorial Guinea0.7931,449,896
Latvia0.7891,866,942
Namibia0.7882,587,344
Peru0.78833,359,418
Brunei0.787441,532
Oman0.7865,223,375
Comoros0.783888,451
Panama0.784,381,579
Barbados0.778287,711
Central African Republic0.7774,919,981
Hong Kong0.7777,552,810
Israel0.7778,789,774
Mexico0.777130,262,216
Jamaica0.7752,973,463
Kazakhstan0.77218,994,962
Gambia0.7712,486,945
Colombia0.7751,265,844
Republic Of The Congo0.7695,657,013
Paraguay0.7687,219,638
Argentina0.76845,605,826
Papua New Guinea0.7669,119,010
Morocco0.76637,344,795
Bolivia0.76411,832,940
Kuwait0.7634,328,550
Vietnam0.76198,168,833
Nicaragua0.7596,702,385
Ecuador0.75917,888,475
Singapore0.7575,896,686
Egypt0.756104,258,327
Dr Congo0.75592,377,993
Malawi0.75119,647,684
Taiwan0.75123,855,010
Costa Rica0.755,139,052
Algeria0.74944,616,624
Samoa0.747200,149
Bahrain0.7471,748,296
United Kingdom0.74668,207,116
Kenya0.74554,985,698
El Salvador0.7436,518,499
Cameroon0.74327,224,265
Venezuela0.74328,704,954
Finland0.7425,548,360
Rwanda0.74213,276,513
Guinea0.74113,497,244
Austria0.7399,043,070
Guyana0.734790,326
Togo0.7348,478,250
Trinidad And Tobago0.7321,403,375
Angola0.73133,933,610
Chad0.7316,914,985
Saint Lucia0.729184,400
Djibouti0.7291,002,187
Uganda0.72947,123,531
Canada0.72838,067,903
Liberia0.7275,180,203
Senegal0.72617,196,301
Czech Republic0.72510,724,555
Maldives0.724543,617
Madagascar0.72228,427,328
Uruguay0.7213,485,151
Gabon0.7192,278,825
Zimbabwe0.71915,092,171
Cambodia0.71816,946,438
Estonia0.7161,325,185
Mozambique0.71632,163,047
Guinea Bissau0.7122,015,494
Nepal0.7129,674,920
Benin0.70712,451,040
Mali0.70720,855,735
Switzerland0.7058,715,494
Tunisia0.70511,935,766
Iran0.70585,028,759
Aruba0.703107,204
Fiji0.702902,906
China0.7021,444,216,107
Solomon Islands0.7703,996
Sri Lanka0.721,497,310
Syria0.69918,275,702
Ghana0.69931,732,129
Jordan0.69610,269,021
France0.69665,426,179
Iceland0.694343,353
Sierra Leone0.6948,141,343
Spain0.69446,745,216
Portugal0.69210,167,925
Vanuatu0.688314,464
Burkina Faso0.68821,497,096
Georgia0.6873,979,765
Sudan0.68744,909,353
Tonga0.682106,760
Niger0.68225,130,817
Mauritania0.6814,775,119
Kyrgyzstan0.6816,628,356
Burundi0.68112,255,433
Bangladesh0.678166,303,498
Poland0.67737,797,005
Serbia0.6768,697,550
Sao Tome And Principe0.674223,368
New Zealand0.6724,860,643
Luxembourg0.67634,814
South Korea0.6751,305,186
Italy0.66960,367,477
Mongolia0.6683,329,289
Pakistan0.665225,199,937
Lithuania0.6632,689,862
Armenia0.6632,968,127
Hungary0.6639,634,164
Mauritius0.6621,273,433
Slovenia0.6622,078,724
Tanzania0.66161,498,437
Bulgaria0.6596,896,663
Libya0.6596,958,532
Tajikistan0.6569,749,627
Australia0.65625,788,215
Afghanistan0.65539,835,428
Azerbaijan0.65410,223,342
Greece0.65410,370,744
Montenegro0.648628,053
Romania0.64719,127,774
Moldova0.6454,024,019
Croatia0.6454,081,651
Bosnia And Herzegovina0.6423,263,466
Malta0.64442,784
Albania0.6372,872,933
Qatar0.6332,930,528
Iraq0.63341,179,350
Turkmenistan0.636,117,924
Japan0.626126,050,804
Eritrea0.6213,601,467
Belarus0.6219,442,862
Ethiopia0.62117,876,227
Belgium0.60311,632,326
Myanmar0.59754,806,012
Timor Leste0.5651,343,873
Slovakia0.4985,460,721
Ukraine0.24143,466,819

Wealth Inequality by Country 2021

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