Thursday, April 16, 2009

Income Inequality in Europe

By popular demand (well... one guy asked about it), here is a map of income inequality in Europe.



Just like the map of the US below, this uses the Gini index as a measure of inequality (based on this table). The general pattern seems to be an equitable core comprised of Scandinavia, Germany, France, and Central Europe, with modestly greater inequality towards the Anglophone, Mediterranean, and Slavic peripheries. Turkey (which is mostly in Asia, after all) has the highest Gini score - 43.6. Every other country is less inequitous than every single US state. In fact, the twenty countries with the lowest Ginis in the world are all on this map (except Malta, but only because it's too small to show up).

By the way, the colors in the map above are the same as in the US map from the previous post, but the scale is obviously different. Just for the sake of having an apples-to-apples visualization, this is what it would look like if the same scale were used as on the US map:

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Anonymous said...

Another interesting map would be a map of regions based upon the incomes of the bottom 10% in all of these countries.

Chachy said...

Yeah it would - it would amount to a sort of analysis of countries based on their success in Rawlsian terms, especially in terms of his "difference principle": that society should be organized in order to benefit the least advantaged members of society.

I don't trust the CIA numbers for that purpose, since they seem to be derived from inconsistent methodologies. But if you can find good data on that anywhere, I'd be interested in doing maps on it for both the US and Europe.

K H D and sometimes T said...

Goodness gracious. What amazes me so much is our deep-seeded belief that our system is "fair" and the only equitable solution. Our insistence that everyone starts in a level playing field, has the same opportunities and fights the good, Darwinian fight. (not to say "everyone" sees it this way but as a country...) Incredible. And terrifying. I just heard a radio article about fat people and planes. They use more seat, so dammit they should pay more. Pounce like tigers people did. (is that unrelated? don't think so.)

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