The Geography Of Inequality

Palma Map

Dylan Matthews parses the Palma ratio, a method of measuring income inequality:

[T]he most shocking number from that [Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS) report] is the global Palma: the ratio of the top 10 percent’s share of world income to the bottom 40 percent’s share, taking every country into account. The ratio, DIIS estimates, is about 32. Those of us in the richest 10 percent globally make 32 times more than the bottom 40 percent.

Fisher mapped the Palma ratios of various countries:

I’ve illustrated the latest data on income inequality around the world, as measured by the Palma. The results are pretty revealing. Bluer countries have greater income equality, according to the metric, meaning that there’s less of a gap between the rich and the poor. Redder countries have more income inequality, meaning that there’s a wider gap. Purple countries are about in the middle — that includes the United States, which is the most unequal of any developed country measured.