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Countries with the Highest Income Inequality

Geoff Riley

12th September 2022

One question I often ask students to research is – which countries in the world have the highest income inequality?

Countries with the Highest Income Inequality

Data for 2021 has been published as part of the 2022 Human Development Report. South Africa has the highest income inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient. Using this measure, a score of zero indicates no inequality, a score of 100 shows perfect inequality. South Africa has a GNI per capita of $12,938 according to 2021 data and adjusted for purchasing power parity. It is a middle-income country but one with huge, persistent income inequality.

  • In South Africa, the poorest 40% of the population have only 7% of total income
  • The richest one per cent have 22% of total income
  • The richest 10% have 50% of total income.

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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