Israel ranks 49th in income equality
By JONATHAN SCHNEIDER, CATARINA SPECHT
December 14, 2005 01:49
2 minute read.
Israel ranks 49th out of 124 countries according to a 2005 United Nations Development Program report based on the Gini index, which measures national income inequality.
The results are based on a study of the income shared by the richest and poorest 10th percentiles in each country. Figures show that income is most equally distributed in Denmark and Japan, and most poorly distributed in Central American and African countries.
The latest report from the Adva Center for Information on Equality and Social Justice shows that in Israel the richest 20 percent of the population earned 44% of all the annual income. By comparison, in the US, which ranks 74th on the UN list, this number stands at 45.8%.
At both ends of the list, Denmark's top 20% earned 35.8% of the income whereas in Namibia they accumulated 70.7%.
The Gini coefficient is a measure of inequality developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini. It is usually used to measure income inequality, but can be used to measure any form of uneven dist ribution.
The Gini coefficient is a number between zero and one, where zero corresponds with perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and one corresponds with perfect inequality (where one person has all the income). The Gini index is the G i ni coefficient expressed in percentage form, and is equal to the Gini coefficient multiplied by 100.
Israel has a Gini index of 35.5 whereas the United States has an index of 40.8.eti