The Gini Index – Not a measure of how many Jennifers you know

Continuing from last week, here is another thing I learned at the Investment News Women’s Advisor Summit:  The Gini Index of Inequality.


Think all this talk about income inequality is new?  Not so!  Corrado Gini created a measure of income inequality way back in 1912.  The Gini Index measures the distribution of income across income percentiles in a population.  Clear as mud?


Here’s how it works.  A country in which every worker had the same income would have a Gini Coefficient of 0.  A country in which one resident earned all the income where everyone else earned nothing would have a Gini Coefficient of 1.  Often the Gini Index is reported on a scale of 0 – 100 with 100 being the most income inequality.


How does your favorite country rank?  It’s actually really hard to tell because the Gini Index isn’t measured every year by every country.  Here are a few examples:*


  • Kosovo in 2015:  23
  • Mongolia in 2017:  34
  • Austria in 2015:  30
  • Guatemala in 2014:  53
  • South Africa in 2013:  62
  • United States in 2016:  41


So, here at home, we are somewhere between Kosovo and South Africa on income parity across our population. Why is this important?  See my video below for more on this topic.




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