Income distribution: additional data

Lane Kenworthy, The Good Society
July 2017

INCOME INEQUALITY BETWEEN THE 1% AND THE 99%

Data on the top 1%’s share of income are available for nineteen rich democracies. They are compiled by the World Inequality Database, using tax records. These data are for pretax income excluding capital gains.

appendix-top1pctincomeshare-21countries-1950to2014-country1to8

appendix-top1pctincomeshare-21countries-1950to2014-country9to16

Figure A1. Top 1%’s share of income
Pretax income. Excludes capital gains. The vertical axes don’t begin at zero. Data source: World Inequality Database.

INCOME INEQUALITY WITHIN THE BOTTOM 99%

The following charts show the Gini coefficient for household income in the lower 99%. The Gini can range from zero to 100, with larger numbers indicating greater inequality. The incomes include government transfers and subtract taxes. The data are from three sources: the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), the OECD, and Frederick Solt’s Standardized World Income Inequality Database.

appendix-ginibottom99-21countries-1960to2014-country1to8b

appendix-ginibottom99-21countries-1960to2014-country9to16b

Figure A2. Income inequality within the bottom 99%
Gini coefficient. Posttransfer-posttax income, adjusted for household size. The vertical axes don’t begin at zero. Thick solid lines: Luxembourg Income Study data. Thin solid lines: OECD data. Dashed lines: Standardized World Income Inequality Database data.

INCOME INEQUALITY BETWEEN THE UPPER-MIDDLE AND THE MIDDLE

The following charts show the ratio of household income at the 90th percentile to income at the 50th percentile (median). This is a helpful measure of inequality on the upper half of the income ladder, excluding those at the top. For most countries we have two data sources: the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) and the OECD.

appendix-p90p50ratio-21countries-1970to2014-country1to8

appendix-p90p50ratio-21countries-1970to2014-country9to16

Figure A3. Income inequality between the upper-middle and the middle
Ratio of income at the 90th percentile to income at the 50th percentile. Posttransfer-posttax income, adjusted for household size. The vertical axes don’t begin at one. Thick lines: Luxembourg Income Study data. Thin lines: OECD data.

INCOME INEQUALITY IN THE LOWER HALF

The following charts show the ratio of household income at the 50th percentile (median) to income at the 10th percentile. This is a useful indicator of inequality within the lower half of the income distribution. The incomes include government transfers and subtract taxes. For most countries we have two data sources: the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) and the OECD.

appendix-p50p10ratio-21countries-1970to2014-country1to8b

appendix-p50p10ratio-21countries-1970to2014-country9to16b

Figure A4. Income inequality in the lower half
Ratio of income at the 50th percentile to income at the 10th percentile. Posttransfer-posttax income, adjusted for household size. The vertical axes don’t begin at one. Thick lines: Luxembourg Income Study data. Thin lines: OECD data.