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Growing Apart

A Political History of American Inequality

Colin Gordon, Author

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Gini Index

A common yardstick for inequality is the Gini coefficient or Gini Index, which runs from 0 (everyone has the same income) to 1 (one person has all the income). In most developed countries the Gini coefficient for income ranges between 0.25 and 0.6. Sometimes the index is expressed as range from 0 to 100 (the same thing without the decimal places).

For a succinct description of the index and its calculation, see this post from's Salvatore Babones, or the short video below.  A more elaborate description of the index, and its mathematical underpinnings, are available from the World Bank.

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