We're number 1(00)!!

According to the CIA, we're the 41st most unequal country in the world. The Gini index measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income in a country. The more nearly equal a country's income distribution, the lower its Gini index, e.g., a Scandinavian country with an index of 25. The more unequal a country's income distribution, the higher its Gini index, e.g., a Sub-Saharan country with an index of 50. If income were distributed with perfect equality the index would be zero; if income were distributed with perfect inequality, the index would be 100.GINI

The Gini Index in the US is 45. We're less equal than the Philippines, Cameroon, Iran, Russia, and Nigeria (just to name a few).

Here's the world's ten most equal countries (the lower the Gini Index number the better)

Rank Country Gini Index

131Finland 26.8

132Austria 26.3

133Slovakia 26.0

134Luxembourg 26.0

135Norway 25.0

136Czech Republic 24.9

137Denmark 24.8

138Hungary 24.7

139Montenegro 24.3

140Slovenia 23.7

141Sweden 23.0

Source CIA World Factbook

And here's the world's least equal countries

Rank Country Gini Index


2South Africa 63.1

3Botswana 63.0

4Sierra Leone 62.9

5Central African Republic 61.3

6Namibia 59.7

7Haiti 59.2

8Honduras 57.7

9Zambia 57.5

10Colombia 55.9

Here's the US

41United States 45.0


Here's a couple of questions I'll ask my students:

Describe inequality in your life. Do you think it impacts your life?

Do you come out on the good side or the bad side of inequality? Is there a good side?

How would the US change if we were suddenly one of the most equal countries instead of one of the least equal?

What are some causes of inequality in the US? In the world?

What are some things the government could do about inequality? (why doesn't it do more?)

What are some things you could do about inequality? (why don't you do more?)

What are some consequences of American inequality?

According to the philosopher John Rawls, the best measure of a just society is whether you’d be willing to be thrown in at random. If you didn't know whether you would end up rich or poor, would you be willing to be thrown into the US randomly?

You won't believe this video. My students didn't! Here's a whole inequality lesson for you.

I'd love to hear your comments!