What is so important about studying and understanding the countries with the worst income inequality in the world? Well, before we take a look at which nations make up this list, we definitely have to answer this question. After all, why bother with a ranking if it is of no importance? Like we have already shown in a previous article about the top 15 most expensive countries in the world, some things are worth knowing for more than one reason. It is no different when it comes to the countries with the worst income inequality, since this list can tell us a lot about income distribution, social policy, and the level of wealth of a nation.
So what does income inequality tell us about a country? First off, it should be noted that although poorer nations tend to have greater disparities in household income, poverty is not the root of the problem. Some countries boast a considerable GDP and have very wealthy citizens, while a large part of the population suffers from unemployment, low wages, and an absolute lack of financial support from their government. Hence, the key point here is that considerable wealth is generated within these states, yet only a small percentage of the population actually reaps the benefits. Such social inequality has been the breeding ground for civil unrest for centuries, making nations who lack the means to deal with it very vulnerable.
In order to find out who is on the list of the countries with the worst income inequality, we have gathered information provided by the World Bank. This international organization has calculated its own Gini Index, which is a common tool used to measure disparities in income. According to the data taken into account, which is expressed in percentage form below, the following countries have the worst income distribution levels in the world.
T9. Bolivia – 56.3%
Despite the efforts made by President Evo Morales to reduce the gap between the richest and the poorest in his country, Bolivia still holds a spot on this list. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made towards improving the situation, meaning Bolivia might just rise above the top (bottom) ten very soon.
T9. Central African Republic – 56.3%
This country not only has social inequality to deal with, but overall poverty. It is one of the poorest nations in the world and has suffered from civil unrest far too often.
The list of the countries with the worst income inequality continues on the next page.
8. Honduras – 57%
This small Central American state exports considerable amounts of fresh produce, yet the financial gains from agriculture always land in the hands of the same people. Although Honduras has experienced constant economic growth over the past decade, change in this area seems unlikely.
7. Angola – 58.6%
Despite generating a great deal of wealth from its export activities, Angola fails to administer its funds in a way that could improve social inequality. Nevertheless, the progress made since the civil war is quite remarkable and Angola is now one of the fastest growing African nations.
6. Haiti – 59.2%
In a country ridden by political instability, the presence of UN peacekeeping troops, and natural disasters, one would think that there is almost no such thing as a wealthy class. Nevertheless, the social inequality in Haiti is stunning, largely due to the extreme poverty of the majority.
5. Botswana – 61%
Botswana might have a living standard similar to that of Mexico or Turkey, yet in terms of social inequality, it is seriously lagging behind. A high degree of economic freedom leaves the government rather powerless in terms of distributing wealth.
4. South Africa – 63.1%
Although it was the largest African economy until it was surpassed by Nigeria last year, South Africa’s income inequality is one of the worst on the planet. Once again, the concentration of wealth generated back in colonial times is apparently still living in the hands of a few.
3. Namibia – 63.9%
Namibia has a prime geographic location on the African continent and has abundant resources, yet it has failed to distribute them properly. Unemployment is at around 28%, despite the fact that the economy is growing and the banking sector booming.
2. Comoros – 64.3%
Most have likely not even heard of this small archipelago in the Indian Ocean, yet it has the second worst income inequality in the world. Unlike many other countries mentioned in this list, Comoros is actually extremely poor and has a very backwards economy.
1. Seychelles – 65.8%
If you ever go to the beautiful Seychelles for vacation, bear in mind that you are visiting the country with the worst income inequality in the world. It seems the profits from tourism and agriculture aren’t doing much to reverse this situation.