World Inequality: Trot the Globe Without Leaving Your Seat

BY Paul Solman  September 29, 2011 at 4:41 PM EDT

Making Sense
To accompany our ongoing NewsHour series on economic inequality, we present here an interactive world inequality map based on data from the World Bank. We confess; this isn’t exactly “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” But this quiz will test your inequality intuition about different places around the world, and playing around with the graphic will give you a sense of how income is distributed around the globe in 2011

The Gini coefficient measures a country’s distribution of income, where ’0′ represents total equality (all income is equally distributed among the population), and ’1′ represents total inequality (one person holds all the income). In the infographic, the figure is expressed as a percentage.

We’ve broken the Gini index down into 10 equal slices — the top 10 percent of countries in terms of equality, the second most equal 10 percent, and so on, down to the most UNequal 10 percent. These so-called “deciles” are color-coded on the left. Clicking on a country in the graphic above will reveal its Gini coefficient, as well as countries that have similar income inequality. These countries appear on the map with the same color, and are also listed along with their corresponding coefficients.