GINI index (World Bank estimate) - Country Ranking - Asia

Definition: Gini index measures the extent to which the distribution of income (or, in some cases, consumption expenditure) among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Lorenz curve plots the cumulative percentages of total income received against the cumulative number of recipients, starting with the poorest individual or household. The Gini index measures the area between the Lorenz curve and a hypothetical line of absolute equality, expressed as a percentage of the maximum area under the line. Thus a Gini index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality.

Source: World Bank, Development Research Group. Data are based on primary household survey data obtained from government statistical agencies and World Bank country departments. For more information and methodology, please see PovcalNet (http://iresearch.worldban

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Malaysia 46.30 2009
2 China 42.20 2012
3 Israel 41.40 2012
4 Turkey 41.20 2014
5 Turkmenistan 40.80 1998
6 Philippines 40.10 2015
7 Indonesia 39.50 2013
8 Sri Lanka 39.20 2012
9 Bhutan 38.80 2012
9 Iran 38.80 2014
11 Georgia 38.50 2015
12 Myanmar 38.10 2015
13 Thailand 37.80 2013
14 Russia 37.70 2015
15 Yemen 36.70 2014
16 Lao PDR 36.40 2012
17 Syrian Arab Republic 35.80 2004
18 Uzbekistan 35.30 2003
19 India 35.20 2011
20 Vietnam 34.80 2014
21 Tajikistan 34.00 2015
22 Jordan 33.70 2010
23 Nepal 32.80 2010
24 Armenia 32.40 2015
25 Bangladesh 32.10 2010
25 Japan 32.10 2008
27 Mongolia 32.00 2014
28 Lebanon 31.80 2011
28 Azerbaijan 31.80 2008
30 Korea 31.60 2012
31 Pakistan 30.70 2013
32 Timor-Leste 30.30 2007
33 Iraq 29.50 2012
34 Kyrgyz Republic 29.00 2015
35 Kazakhstan 26.50 2015

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Limitations and Exceptions: Gini coefficients are not unique. It is possible for two different Lorenz curves to give rise to the same Gini coefficient. Furthermore it is possible for the Gini coefficient of a developing country to rise (due to increasing inequality of income) while the number of people in absolute poverty decreases. This is because the Gini coefficient measures relative, not absolute, wealth. Another limitation of the Gini coefficient is that it is not additive across groups, i.e. the total Gini of a society is not equal to the sum of the Gini's for its sub-groups. Thus, country-level Gini coefficients cannot be aggregated into regional or global Gini's, although a Gini coefficient can be computed for the aggregate. Because the underlying household surveys differ in methods and types of welfare measures collected, data are not strictly comparable across countries or even across years within a country. Two sources of non-comparability should be noted for distributions of income in particular. First, the surveys can differ in many respects, including whether they use income or consumption expenditure as the living standard indicator. The distribution of income is typically more unequal than the distribution of consumption. In addition, the definitions of income used differ more often among surveys. Consumption is usually a much better welfare indicator, particularly in developing countries. Second, households differ in size (number of members) and in the extent of income sharing among members. And individuals differ in age and consumption needs. Differences among countries in these respects may bias comparisons of distribution. World Bank staff have made an effort to ensure that the data are as comparable as possible. Wherever possible, consumption has been used rather than income. Income distribution and Gini indexes for high-income economies are calculated directly from the Luxembourg Income Study database, using an estimation method consistent with that applied for developing countries.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The Gini index measures the area between the Lorenz curve and a hypothetical line of absolute equality, expressed as a percentage of the maximum area under the line. A Lorenz curve plots the cumulative percentages of total income received against the cumulative number of recipients, starting with the poorest individual. Thus a Gini index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality. The Gini index provides a convenient summary measure of the degree of inequality. Data on the distribution of income or consumption come from nationally representative household surveys. Where the original data from the household survey were available, they have been used to calculate the income or consumption shares by quintile. Otherwise, shares have been estimated from the best available grouped data. The distribution data have been adjusted for household size, providing a more consistent measure of per capita income or consumption. No adjustment has been made for spatial differences in cost of living within countries, because the data needed for such calculations are generally unavailable. For further details on the estimation method for low- and middle-income economies, see Ravallion and Chen (1996). Survey year is the year in which the underlying household survey data were collected or, when the data collection period bridged two calendar years, the year in which most of the data were collected.

Unit of Measure: %

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: The World Bank’s internationally comparable poverty monitoring database now draws on income or detailed consumption data from more than one thousand six hundred household surveys across 164 countries in six regions and 25 other high income countries (indu