Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gini Index - UN Human Development Report

Nicholas Kristof reported in his article "Our Banana Republic" that the richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976.

C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.

The recently published UN Human Development Report, though still ranked the US No. 4 overall, it did point out that the US Income Gini coefficient is 40, while No. 1 country Norway has Income Gini coefficient 25.8.  Below is the list of such index in a sample of other countries: 
Canada (ranking 8): Income Gini coefficient 32.6
Mexico (ranking 56): Income Gini coefficient 48.1
China (ranking 89): Income Gini coefficient 41.5
United Kingdom (ranking 26) Income Gini coefficient (not listed in UN report; according to Wikipedia map, it falls in the range of 30-34)

According to Wikipedia, "The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper "Variability and Mutability" (Italian: Variabilità e mutabilità).

The Gini coefficient is a measure of the inequality of a distribution, a value of 0 expressing total equality and a value of 1 maximal inequality. It has found application in the study of inequalities in disciplines as diverse as economics, health science, ecology, chemistry and engineering.

It is commonly used as a measure of inequality of income or wealth. Worldwide, Gini coefficients for income range from approximately 0.23 (Sweden) to 0.70 (Namibia) although not every country has been assessed."

It also has a visual demonstration of global information:

The inequality in our country is getting greater yet most Republicans are demanding the extension of Bush tax cut for the super rich.

It's plainly immoral.

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