Gini coefficient in China: inequality of income distribution in China from 2005 to 2016

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Gini index
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About This Statistic

This statistic shows the inequality of income distribution in China from 2006 to 2016 based on the Gini Index. In 2016, China reached a score of 46.5 (0.465) points. The Gini Index is a statistical measure that is used to represent unequal distributions, e.g. income distribution. It can take any value between 1 and 100 points (or 0 and 1). The closer the value is to 100 the greater is the inequality. 40 or 0.4 is the warning level set by the United Nations. The Gini Index for South Korea had reached a score of 0.3 in 2015.

Income distribution in China – additional information

The Gini coefficient is used to measure the income inequality of a country. The United States, the World Bank, the US Central Intelligence Agency, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development all provide their own measurement of the Gini coefficient, varying in data collection and survey methods. According to the United Nations Development Programme, countries with the largest income inequality based on the Gini index are mainly located in Africa and Latin America, with South Africa displaying the world’s highest value in 2015. The world’s most equal countries, on the contrary, are situated mostly in Europe. The United States’ Gini for household income has increased by around nine percent since 1990, to 0.48 in 2015.

Growing inequality counts as one of the biggest social, economic and political challenges to many countries, especially emerging markets. Over the last 20 years, China has become one of the world’s largest economies. As parts of the society have become more and more affluent, the country’s Gini coefficient has also grown sharply over the last two decades. As shown by the graph at hand, China’s Gini coefficient ranged between 0.47 and 0.49 over the last decade, higher than the warning line of increased risk of social unrest.

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