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Gini estimates of wage inequality in 64 countries (hourly wages)
The following chart shows inequality in wages, as represented by the Gini coefficient, using survey data on wages from 64 countries which, together, reflect the wage distribution from some 75 per cent of the world’s wage employees.
The figure illustrates wage inequality, comparing countries to others at a similar level of economic development.
The Gini coefficient summarizes the relative distribution of wages in the population, with lower values (closer to zero) indicating lower levels of inequality and higher values (closer to 100) indicating higher levels of wage inequality. The chart shows that wage inequality varies significantly both between and within the four groups of countries.
The countries with the lowest levels of wage inequality are found among the high-income group, whereas countries with the highest levels of wage inequality are found in the low-income and middle-income groups.
There is also some variation within groupings: among high-income countries,the Gini coefficient ranges from a low of 19.5 for Sweden to a high of 38.7 for Chile. Among low-income countries, the United Republic of Tanzania has a Gini coefficient of 53.6, while South Africa – classified as upper-middle income – scores a Gini coefficient of 63.9.
According to these estimates, South Africa, Namibia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Malawi are the countries with the highest levels of wage inequality among the 64 countries considered.